Niantic’s Campfire social media platform will let Pokemon GO players chat and connect


Niantic, the developer of AR mobile games Ingress, Pokemon Go, and Pikmin Bloom, has made some major AR gaming-related announcements during a Lightship Summit developer event, including a new social media platform designed for AR gamers to help them connect with one another.

The platform is called Campfire, and it populates a map with people, events, and messaging features to create what Niantic calls “the ‘homepage’ of the real-world metaverse” to allow players to communicate with one another and organize events and meetups. Campfire is currently available to use in Ingress and is on the way to other games like POGO later this summer.

The Summit was also the place where Niantic announced a new AR dev tool known as Lightship VPS, which allows AR game developers to use a 3-D map Niantic has been building to more accurately pinpoint a player’s location and create in-game points of interest with “centimeter-level precision” oriented to where a player is looking through their phone’s camera.

It remains to be seen whether this new tool will protect player privacy or create new points of exploitation; as our own Massively on the Go columnist has written at length, Niantic’s games, including its newest, have a long history of inadvertently facilitating player abuse and misusing player data.

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