“Pokémon Go” and “Ingress Prime” developer Niantic is partnering with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to promote world travel through its augmented reality games, it announced on Tuesday.
Niantic wants to foster exploration and build awareness of global destinations by getting players to engage with real-world locations in its mobile apps. These unique campaigns will also build awareness of the UNWTO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign, which launched in August.
“Our goal at Niantic is to create interactive games that encourage exercise, social interaction and exploration, giving players the opportunity to play together in the real world and discover the incredible history hidden right in their own neighborhoods,” said Niantic head of marketing EMEA Anne Beuttenmüller. “We’re looking forward to creating brand new adventures for our players in collaboration with UNWTO to increase awareness around their mission of responsible tourism.”
Niantic recently became a UNWTO affiliate member, which makes the partnership a natural fit, said Ion Vilcu, director of UNWTO’s Affiliate Members Department. “Niantic are pioneers in creating real-world mobile game experiences that not only motivate their players to discover new places, but also to appreciate the culture and beauty of the world around them,” he said.
Niantic’s “Pokémon Go” first launched in 2016 and quickly became a gaming phenomenon. It made nearly $85 million last month alone, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. It’s been downloaded about 522 million times so far, and it’s grossed an estimated $2.01 billion during its two-year lifespan. Niantic relaunched its first AR game, “Ingress Prime,” earlier this month.