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Niantic Labs, Google's in-house game studio, and the team responsible for augmented reality cyberpunk thriller, Ingress, will soon become an independent company.
The announcement was made through a brief post on Google+, with the developer explaining the move as a way to build on the success of Ingress, which has been downloaded over 12 million times, and has so far attracted more than 250,000 people to live events around the world.
"We’ll be taking our unique blend of exploration and fun to even bigger audiences with some amazing new partners joining Google as collaborators and backers," said a Niantic spokesperson.
"Niantic will be building on the success of Ingress [...] which has inspired users to collectively walk the distance from the earth to the sun while playing, exploring and discovering."
The news comes in the wake of Google co-founder Larry Page announcing the formation of a new parent company, Alphabet, which will oversee Google (now a company focused primarily on Internet services like web searching and advertising) and a number of other semi-independent companies that are being spun out of Google ventures that lay outside of its new, narrowed purview.
Niantic Labs is one such company, and it's yet unclear how much influence Alphabet will have over its operations going forward.