Pokemon Go

“The world is your game board. Get ready for CATAN – World Explorers, an upcoming massively multiplayer augmented reality game that transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN.”

Settlers of Catan (1995) by Klaus Teuber is one of the classic European board games that shepherded in the modern age of board games. Winner of Spiel des Jahres in 1995, and still beloved today, Catan introduced the world to resource collection, trading, and city building.

The world of Catan had already expanded onto digital devices, but now will take over the entire world. Catan World Explorers, announced at Essen Spiel 2019,  is a new digital game in which players explore the real world, a la Pokemon Go, searching for classic Catan resources. Players collect wheat, sheep, wood, etc. on their device, trying to then construct roads and cities. However it won’t be all that easy… your neighborhood may have an abundance of one type of resource, but you will likely have to trade for something else.  Team up with friends for victory points, and compete locally or globally to become seasonal champions.

For more information, check out the Catan World Explorers website here.

A man uses a mobile phone in front of an advertisement board bearing the image of Pokemon Go at an electronic shop in Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Sensible Object, the London based, augmented-reality board game company, has been acquired by Niantic Inc. While they’re best known for the Pokemon Go mobile game, they originally gained attention with Ingress, and are in the process of releasing the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite AR mobile game.

Sensible Object garnered attention with their augmented-reality board game, Beasts of Balance, where players utilize a combination of strategy and balance to build a tower of animals on their tabletop, then evolve the animals in a digital world. Founded in 2014, they were among the first companies to participate in Amazon’s Alexa Start-up Accelerator Program in Seattle in 2017, and even released an Alexa powered board game (When in Rome).

“Sensible Object will offer support for its existing slate of titles during a transition period at the end of which the team will focus its efforts on building all new real-world AR experiences with Niantic as the core of Niantic London. We’re excited about Sensible Object joining Niantic as it significantly advances our efforts in developing a wide range of gaming experiences that bring the physical and digital world closer together. The team’s deep roots in large-scale outdoor activations in particular is very complementary to the many Niantic real world events we host around the world to engage with our loyal players.” -Niantic Inc. [source]

For more information, see the announcement on Sensible Object’s website, and Niantic Inc’s website.