Digital Catapult has selected eight UK studios to take part in pitching days later in the summer to secure a place in the Augmented Reality Accelerator programme, powered by Niantic Lightship.
Of the eight studios, three will be selected as finalists and move on to create AR experiences for Cartoon Network, Niantic Labs, and choreographer Wayne McGregor. These finalists will create a demo for their games using Niantic’s Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK) and receive up to $118 thousand for development.
The lightship ARDK includes software which allows developers to create 3D real-time mesh maps via smartphone cameras and semantic segmentation, allowing virtual objects to interact with real-world surfaces.
The future of AR
As part of the company’s push to increase the profile of AR technology in gaming, Niantic recently released Campfire, a social app created to facilitate meet-up’s band events across the company’s catalog of VR titles.
Niantic and Digital Catapult will provide the studios with technical support to help them develop new cutting-edge AR applications which, in the words of Digital Catapult, “encourage greater human connection throughout the AR Accelerator program.” The three studios selected for the partnership will showcase their final concepts in early 2023.
Each of the selected studios have a different focus for their created games. No Ghost, for example, has a stricter narrative focus than some other VR and AR developers, with their VR title Madrid Noir being a part of the official selection for 2021’s Tribeca Film Festival. Neurotech, meanwhile, focuses on developing AR and mixed reality titles for children aged seven to ten.
Last year, we listed Niantic as number two on our annual countdown of the top 50 mobile game makers. We’ll be unveiling our list for this year tomorrow.