Striving to advance social gaming experiences, augmented reality (AR) mobile games company Niantic has acquired Silicon Valley gaming platform Mayhem, for an undisclosed amount.
“Through our games, many Niantic explorers have found incredible meaning in playing and interacting with other explorers,” Niantic said in a Tuesday (Jan. 5) blog post. “They create memories, they make friends, and they end up with some amazing stories to tell.”
Niantic said the acquisition of Mayhem will bring talented creatives on board with proficiency in developing social gaming, which will lead to an improved player community and deeper connections. Mayhem’s ability to develop online communities will also advance numerous ways for the global gaming community to collaborate, Niantic said.
Founded in 2017, Mayhem specializes in connecting gamers through live, interactive exploits. The digital platform enables gamers to “self-organize custom game formats for their communities.”
Mayhem CEO and Co-Founder Ivan Zhou said in the announcement that teaming with Niantic will bring new social experiences to the global gaming community.
The tie-up will mean the end of Mayhem as a standalone product next month “so we can focus our energy on a shared vision at Niantic and drive new innovations in social for AR real-world gaming,” Zhou said.
He also thanked its players for their gaming passion and creativity and for helping direct the company to a “bigger vision of what we could accomplish.”
Mayhem was part of Y Combinator in 2018 and notched $5.7 million in funding led by Accel, Afore Capital and NextGen Venture Partners, according to a report in TechCrunch.
Most of Mayhem’s staff will join Niantic as part of the product team or platform engineering.
Digital gaming platforms are delivering a metaverse like Fortnite’s multiplayer game that has an estimated 350 million players worldwide. Some 12.3 million Fortnite players recently participated in a virtual concert, almost the number of viewers tuned in to Monday Night Football, which typically has 12.6 million viewers.
At the start of 2020, pre-pandemic, virtual gaming was seen as a driver for the global tourism industry. Pokémon Go and similar games are thought to have fueled some $249 million in tourism revenue.