Niantic, the developers behind Pokemon Go, has teamed up with Payments company Fold to create an augmented reality AR game where players can earn Bitcoins. The real world metaverse, as the company calls it, has Niantic s real-world mapping technology that comes together with the Fold's app capabilities and players can explore the real world around them and win rewards in criptocurrencies.
Niantic s AR tech has players looking for rare creatures on Pokemon Go and battling other players. This partnership with Fold and the real world metaverse experience that earns players Bitcoin rewards seems to be infinitely more lucrative.
This new experience is available to Fold App users to play in beta currently, and rewards can be earned in Bitcoin as well as in the form of other in-app benefits. Niantic is working on expanding the experience after the recent $300 million investment from Coatue, according to reports.
Fold CEO Will Reeves said in a release that anyone can use the Fold app and called it the easiest way to get your first piece of Bitcoin For us, it's always been important to make participation easy for everyone, regardless of their education or technical expertise, and that's why Fold CEO Will Reeves said.
The experience is going to work just like the Pokemon Go game experience does. The rare creatures will be replaced by prizes that players can collect. Just as one would explore the physical world and search for Blitzles and Bulbasaurs, new blocks of bounty will be dropped around players at fixed intervals of 10 minutes. Once a player has won a block, they earn Satoshis, which are the smallest units of the Bitcoin coin. There are also other in-app rewards that can be won. It's not all win-win, you can lose your Bitcoins if you get a poison pill like the damage you d endured while fighting Team Rocket grunts.
If you want to give this real world metaverse experience a shot, you need to use the Fold app. Players do not need to have a Fold card to play. There are additional rewards and prizes to be won for Fold card holders.
Once the game is officially launched, players will be able to trade the Bitcoin they won in the game.
Niantic and Fold's use of the term metaverse is not to be confused with the Metaverse Facebook or Meta is working on. Niantic has kept things relatively simple with AR and Metaverse involves the use of virtual reality VR. Some of the biggest names in technology and gaming seem to be interested in the idea of the virtual world, and the CEO and founder John Hanke is mentioning in a blog that Metaverse is a dystopian nightmare. Hanke wrote that these novels served as warnings about a dystopian future of technology gone wrong.
As a society, we can hope that the world doesn't devolve into the kind of place that drives sci-fi heroes to escape into a virtual reality, or we can work to make sure that doesn't happen. We choose the latter at Niantic. We believe that we can use technology to lean into the reality of augmented reality - encouraging people to stand up, walk outside, and connect with people and the world around us. This is what we humans are born to do, the result of two million years of human evolution, and as a result, those things make us the happiest. He added that technology should be used to make these core human experiences better, not to replace them.
Niantic s focus on the need to stand up, walk outside and connect with people has recently earned them some flack from Pokemon Go players. In the second half of 2020, Niantic had introduced a lot of changes in the game that allowed players to continue playing while maintaining COVID 19 safety protocols. Travel distances for hatching eggs were reduced, the interaction area for gyms and pokestops increased, and these updates were appreciated by players because they depend on players walking around and exploring the world around them physically.
Earlier this year, Niantic announced that they were going to roll back some of the COVID 19 changes and make the game go back to how it used to be. The decision was met with a lot of backlash from players who felt it was too early to venture out and explore the world with the pandemic fears still looming over most countries. While initially it appeared that Niantic was not interested in listening to what players had to say, it eventually succumbed and said they are not going to roll back the changes.
Since Niantic and Fold's new metaverse works on the same principle as Pokemon Go, it remains to be seen how players and Fold users warm up to the concept of walking around the real world right now. People might want to step out and get walking because there are more tangible rewards to be won, and not just event-specific pocket monsters.