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Google: Location-based gaming as popular as virtual reality gaming in 10 years

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After experimenting for more than a year with their own brand of location-driven, real-world augmented reality gaming, Google’s Niantic Labs announced plans this week to help a small group of developers to learn how to make their own games using the technology.

The unannounced developers will work with Niantic Labs, a start up within Google, to create their own games using the tech that currently powers Ingress.

Niantic plans to release the full API to developers sometime in 2015, Nantic’s John Hanke told Polygon.

“That doesn’t change the fact that we’re committed to Ingress,” said Hanke, vice president of product at Niantic Labs at Google. “It’s the flagship proof of concept.”

Hanke said Niantic spent much of last year slowly opening the gates to their game, scaling up Ingress, watching how the system performed under the increased stress and see how people played the game.

“The idea was to learn as much as possible with the game to firm up how we would make a platform,” he said.

Hanke said he thinks real-world gaming could become as popular as virtual reality gaming.

“I think we’ll see real-world gaming as a major chunk of the gaming universe in half a decade,” he said. “It will be as, or more compelling as virtual reality.”