Niantic’s new AR game Pikmin Bloom was officially released Tuesday and is gradually rolling out across the globe on Android and iOS. The timing is notable, given that Facebook has brought the metaverse discussion to the fore, as Pikmin Bloom is more likely to be a testbed for Niantic’s metaverse vision than anything else.
Why? As previously noted, while Nintendo’s 20-year-old Pikmin series fits Niantic’s style of mobile games, it isn’t a cultural mainstay like Pokemon or Harry Potter, which both have Niantic AR games already (with the latter being much less successful than Pokemon Go). That means Pikmin Bloom is not likely to rake in billions overnight and become “the next Pokemon Go.”
But given what we know about the game’s design and about CEO John Hanke’s metaverse leanings, Pikmin Bloom may be a game that provides Niantic's designers room to try and make sense of what the next steps for AR and the metaverse can be.