Before the global sensation that was Pokémon Go, Niantic had taken a swing at changing the mobile gaming landscape with Ingress. Released in 2013, the game takes place in a dystopian society where a new substance known as “XM” is disrupting the natural order of things. The game itself is focused on combining elements of capture the flag with real-world map data, as players engaged in a large-scale tug of war in capturing key locations as members of opposing factions: the Enlightened or Resistance.
Following its launch, Ingress faced criticism for many of the same issues that Pokémon Go faced in its early months: waypoints were placed in insensitive areas like in front of churches, near graveyards…and in former Nazi concentration camp memorials. It was also accused of being very similar to a previously released title by the name of Shadow Wars. Layer these struggles with the fact that the concept of gaming on a smartphone hadn’t quite taken off yet meant that it didn’t necessarily enjoy widespread acclaim. Sure, it took a couple years to work out the kinks, but without Ingress, it’s highly unlikely that Pokémon Go would have had the same level of success – and now Niantic gets to enjoy a seat at the table of influential developers who are working to transform the mobile gaming industry.
Now, Ingress as an intellectual property has returned to the conversation once again following Netflix’s announcement that it had licensed an animated series depicting the dystopian universe back in July. Things went quiet for a bit – but today a trailer for the show landed to remind us all just what we have to look forward to in a few weeks:
A rough translation of the story summary tells us that the series will revolve around Makoto – an investigator who is blessed with a unique ability to read the memory of items he touches. While investigating an explosion at a factory that produces “XM”, he uncovers something extraordinary in the memory of a young woman’s ring, which puts him at the center of a massive conspiracy.
The series is set to debut on October 18th on Netflix. We’ve reached out to Mr. Okiura at Netflix Japan for comment on his hopes and thoughts for the project.
In the meantime, what do you think? Will you be giving Ingress a watch?