Mere weeks before the start of the Umbra anomaly series, Niantic announced you needed to pay if you wanted to take part, help the team and earn a keepsake badge.
The augmented reality company has now apologised, conceding that the announcement was poorly timed. They’ll offer a free way to help your team if you can get to the event, but if you want badge as a record of your battle, then you’ll need to pay.
We understand the timing of this announcement was poor and provided very little advance notice of the changes. We apologize, and going forward, we will proactively explain significant changes to events, the game, or policy with advanced notice to POCs and to the wider Ingress community.
In the same post, they asked for help to make Ingress sustainable. In other words, the game is costing money, and they’re now turning to the community for ideas.
It might be easy to think that Niantic is making a heap of money out of Harry Potter United and Pokemon Go, but they don’t own either of those two licenses. They made and run those games on a license, though, and may even pay a fee to the respective owners.
Niantic isn’t flush with cash. If they were, they wouldn’t have had to turn to a Series C round. In January, it reported they had to do that and took $245m from Institutional Venture Partners and Samsung. That means these venture capitalists will be expecting Niantic to add some zeros to the end of those figures.
How do you think Niantic should earn money from Ingress?