The Niantic spinoff comes days after a massive Google restructuring. Niantic Labs
Google’s remaking of its business has only just begun.
The search giant is spinning out game-maker Niantic Labs from its company, according to a statement from the company on Wednesday. The company said it plans to expand who it builds the game for as an independent company, without giving much other detail.
Niantic makes Ingress, a game that involves players going to various real world landmarks — like a public sculpture or a sign — and “capturing” it for their team by using various commands on their smartphones.
The split comes only days after Google announced a major restructuring that creates more division between its core products and peripheral projects — like games or driverless cars.
Earlier this week, Google said it was creating a holding company called Alphabet, a move intended to let separate businesses within the company — like Niantic — have more independence. Still, Niantic is striking out on its own. It’s unclear how long the decision to for the game maker to split from Google was in the works.
“They’re now ready to accelerate their growth by becoming an independent company,” a Google spokesperson said.
Details around the spin out are still sparse, but Niantic said Google will remain a backer and collaborator as the game maker tries to take its products to “even bigger audiences.” Niantic said Ingress has been downloaded more than 12 million times and has attracted more than 250,000 people to game-related events around the world.
In March, The Information said Niantic was in the process of developing Ingress into a television show. It’s unclear what the spin off means for the development of the show. Google declined to comment about the status of the show.