Niantic acquires 8th Wall for the metaverse

Niantic, the developer of the augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokemon Go, this week announced the acquisition of 8th Wall, an experienced developer of webAR experiences.

8th Wall’s webAR engine enables brands and businesses to quickly create immersive experiences

The webAR engine from 8th Wall allows marketers and organizations to instantly develop immersive mobile experiences without the need for extra apps. The platform allows businesses to use 8th Wall’s architecture to lower entry barriers for internal development teams.

“8th Wall is on a mission to make AR accessible to everyone,” stated Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO and creator of 8th Wall. We’ve accomplished this by providing a comprehensive set of tools for developers, brands, and agencies to create web-based AR experiences for mobile devices without the need for an app.

AR developers using Niantic’s Lightship Augmented Reality Software Development Kit (ARSDK) may construct an AR-powered “real-world metaverse” by combining 8th Wall technology.

“By joining Niantic, we will pursue this aim by providing developers with more tools to create compelling and interactive AR experiences that use the power and flexibility of the web,” he continued.

The announcement follows a successful 2021 for 8th Wall, which included a collaboration with Ready Player Me to develop cross-platform avatars for browser-based immersive experiences. In addition, even before being acquired by Niantic, the California-based startup published version 17 of their popular AR engine that same year.

On the Go’s immersive experiences are powered by Niantic.
Scaniverse, a comparable online AR engine and 3D rendering software restricted to Apple iPhones that employs the device’s powerful LIDAR scanner, was purchased by the Pokemon Go makers last year.

Niantic hired ex-Meta employee Dan Morris

Niantic recruited Dan Morris, an ex-Meta employee, as head of developer relations to supervise contacts with Lightship ARSDK developers.

When Niantic obtained the 8th wall last year, it collected over $300 million to extend Lightship ARSDK, boost support for existing activities, build new immersive experiences, and move toward the genuine Metaverse.

Niantic officially begun licensing the Lightship ARDK to third-party development teams to finish off a successful 2021. Lightship is now free to developers until May of this year, with the exception of a $5.00 per 10,000 user cost for multiplayer functionality.


Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.