Enlarge / Niantic’s developer and ops team had to scramble to find and smash latencies in the infrastructure behind Pokémon Go. (credit: Niantic)
When Pokémon Go launched in the US the first week of July 2016, it marked the biggest augmented-reality gaming craze to date.

The product of a years-long collaboration between game developer Niantic and Google (which fostered Niantic as an internal start-up before its spin-off), Pokémon Go relied heavily on Google’s cloud platform and application services to provide the infrastructure behind the game. (Nintendo and Pokémon also had a hand in the little monsters’ evolution as an immersive mobile gaming experience.)
This was not Niantic’s first augmented reality rodeo.

The company had previously developed Ingress, an augmented reality alien invasion game, first released publicly in 2013 for Android devices.

But Pokémon Go was an entirely different beast—Pokémon was already a cultural touchstone, and the game tapped into an audience that had been hungry for a mobile game for years.
So adoption of the game took off like a rocket, shooting to No. 1 in iPhone revenues within half a day.

By some measures, it was the biggest mobile game launch ever.
But its escape trajectory put some strain on the platform; two days into the launch, Niantic CEO John Hanke announced that the company was delaying the international rollout of Pokémon Go, citing overloaded servers as the culprit. Meanwhile, there were privacy concerns regarding how Niantic had leveraged Google’s identity and location services, and the company had to manage deploying a raft of bug fixes while coping with capacity problems.
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