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Pokémon Go developer Niantic is rolling out its own Campfire social network

Pokémon Go developer Niantic is rolling out its own Campfire social network

Pokémon Go maker Niantic has built a social app for its games — and it's coming out very soon. The developer says the app, called Campfire, will begin its global rollout in the coming days. Campfire was originally announced in May and has been in a testing phase with Ingress players over the past few months. The initial rollout will be available to "select groups of Pokémon Go players throughout the summer," according to the developer.

The core of Campfire is a map that includes information about nearby in-game events and activities, theoretically making it easy to arrange for people to play or get-togethers with friends. The app includes a group and private messaging tool for your in-game friends; For example, for Pokémon Go, you can DM a friend to a raid location to make it easier to get together. You can also do things like add "flair" to a location to encourage nearby players to come if something interesting is happening. Check out the screenshots below for a better idea of ​​how the app works:

The idea of ​​a Niantic-focused social network might seem overkill with the glut of messaging apps already in place, but it's somewhat understandable given how many games the company is working on. In addition to Pokémon Go and Ingress, Niantic also has Pikmin Bloom in the wild, as well as in-development games like the virtual pet sim Peridot and the recently announced basketball game NBA All World.

That said, the news comes just a day after the company canceled several projects — including the previously announced Transformers: Heavy Metal — while also laying off more than 80 employees. It was shelved after a less-than-stellar launch of high-profile projects such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Catan: World Explorers.

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