Niantic closes its AR game Catan after a year of early access

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Pokémon Go Developer Niantic shuts down augmented reality game Catania: explorers of the world, the company announced on Friday (via Protocol). An AR adaptation of the popular board game Catania announced in 2019, Explorers of the world was the company’s last attempt to recreate the magic of Pokémon Go, but soon it all ends.

After one year of early access, the game will no longer be playable after November 18, and Niantic will announce later today that it will “remove the game from the App Store and remove real money purchases from the store.” For remaining players, the company says it will increase in-game bonuses for the remaining weeks the game is online.

It’s not entirely clear what is to blame for the shutdown, although the developers say the adaptation of trade, harvest and construction Catania is known for on a real game board (or at least AR overlaid on top of real life) has proven to be a challenge. “We got a bit too complicated and a bit too far removed from the original Catania game, ”write the developers.

Catania: explorers of the world joined Minecraft Land like another AR game he couldn’t quite cut it. Microsoft’s vision for Minecraft Land was equally ambitious until it ended on June 30. It’s a shame that Niantic’s big swing failed as his other entries turned out to be disappointing in our experience. When launching, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite felt more like a skin of Pokémon Go that a significant development. There’s no reason for Pokémon to be the exclusive breakthrough for AR games, but until Niantic or another company can make it work, it looks like Pikachu will remain king.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Niantic developed Minecraft Earth. It was actually developed by Mojang Studios, owned by Microsoft. We regret the error.


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