As part of Google's Alphabet restructuring, inhouse location-based mobile game studio Niantic Labs has become an independent company.
Niantic Labs, which is headed by Google Earth creator John Hanke, runs the only at-scale successful mobile location-based game Ingress.
However, given that the assumption is the only reason Ingress has been successful is that Niantic has been funded by Google, operations for the developer maybe getting tighter in future.
Glass half full
Yet, Ingress has demonstrated certain scale with 12 million downloads across Android and iOS.
More significantly, it's seen over 250,000 people meet up in real-world events, and highlighted the commercial potential of location-based games.
A recent campaign with insurance giant AXA resulted in 600,000 players visiting AXA offices in order to collect in-game items.
Also, at Develop:Brighton 2015, product marketing manager Anne Beuttenmüller talked up company's potential in terms of making its location-based services platform open for other game developers to use.