The ARCADE team is over the moon to announce that we are one of three immersive studios selected to build new experiences for the real-world metaverse by Niantic and Digital Catapult. Having been shortlisted several months ago, we poured all of our creative and technical know-how into a concept we were incredibly proud of, and pitched to the Niantic and Digital Catapult teams at the end of August.It was an anxious wait, as the prize was an incredible opportunity to partner with Niantic, the world's leading voice in the consumer-facing augmented reality space, and use their new Lightship platform to push the boundaries of mobile immersive experience. The news came through a few weeks ago but we are finally able to reveal to the world that we won, and we couldn't be happier!
We are in excellent company alongside No Ghost and Mobile Pie, each studio taking on a different challenge. No Ghost will be working with Studio Wayne McGregor to build a demonstrator that empowers self-expression through movement. Mobile Pie will be extending Cartoon Network's highly successful mobile game ToonCup into the real world. And we will be working directly with Niantic to develop a digital experience designed to bring people back to the high street.
Our concept's working title is Bazaar. It is a digital game with real world rewards, centred around the UK's thousands of high streets, with a goal of motivating millennial and Gen-Z audiences to re-engage with bricks-and-mortar retail environments.Bazaar imagines a world in which there is more to High Streets than meets the eye. They are special, important places, connected by an ancient magical network. But the magic has started to seep out into the world, and it is up to us to find and return the 'drops' to the shops that need their power. Find enough, and reunite them with the shops they came from, and the owners will show their gratitude in the form of free goods, discounts and other rewards.
The first step for all three studios commissioned by this Digital Catapult accelerator is to produce a 'demonstrator' - a non-public app that allows test audiences to experience the core gameplay elements of our respective concepts. These will land in early 2023 and could, if everything goes well, pave the way for further phases of development.But whatever awaits for Bazaar, the next few months ought to be pretty special. Watch this space - and your local high street - for more news soon!Read the full press release here, and get in touch with the team if you want to learn more about the real-world metaverse.