Niantic is the company who’s tech enables Pokemon Go, and the forthcoming Harry Potter augmented reality game Wizards United. Their own game, their most successful bit of intellectual property, is Ingress.
The Ingress Anime is finally due out on Netflix, but the game itself feels like it faces a cliff. Scanner Redacted will end in September.
Niantic has to change its server technology as the original platform uses components that will soon be out of date and their solution to this is Ingress Prime. Ingress Prime is not just a server change but a re-imagined mobile app. It looks different from the original Ingress, and it takes some getting used to, and not everyone likes it.
To cushion the change, Niantic has kept a version of the old game available for current players. This app is called Scanner Redacted, and it lets Ingress agents continue with the old interface. The intent was good, to soften the impact of Prime’s shift, but it’s allowed players to directly compare the two apps, and for many, right now, Prime is the inferior experience.
Niantic has always been clear; when Prime reaches feature parity with Scanner Redacted, then the old app would close. That’s to say; when it is possible to do everything in Prime (such as Portal submissions) that agents can do in the last version of the old Ingress, then Prime would become compulsory.
Andrew Krug, Ingress’ community manager, announced that Scanner Redacted would close at the end of September while at the after party for the Tokyo anomaly. The news has been shared on Telegram and Discord by the hyperconnected and well-organised Ingress player factions, but an official announcement is, at the time of writing, yet to appear on Niantic’s social media.
Niantic now has to woo a stubborn player base to change to Prime or risk losing them forever. In some ways, the Ingress player base is made up of gamers who do well with routines and patterns, and of players who like to restore their environment to how it should be in their eyes. It’s not a surprise that some of these players are change adverse. A whole half of the game, the Resistance faction, is about opposing change.
It seems likely that some old players will quit the game with the removal of Scanner Redacted.
However, the Ingress Anime will introduce the concept to a whole new generation, and a new wave of agents may pick up the scanner.
Niantic promises more goodies once Prime becomes the new and only way to play. There’s a new anti-cheat system coming, which Ingress desperately needs, and a whole new series of Anomaly battles. Anomalies are city wars, which players travel from all over the world to take part in and help determine the ever-evolving story of the transmedia Ingress project.
Previously, in an AMA on Google+, Krug shared some ideas Niantic were considering for Prime;
There are a number of ideas we’ve chatted about in brainstorming sessions that include timed group challenges, daily/monthly/special quests, raids, crafting, random cooperative challenges requiring both factions, adventures via an instanced experience, adventures via an AR/VR experience, etc. While some ideas are being explored more than others, not much will be implemented until Ingress is on the Niantic Real World Platform aka the new servers. “