Niantic Labs is best known for the massively successful Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile game, but also for Ingress and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, all of which are location-based augmented reality mobile games. They have shared the results of a recent Earth Day initiative to clean up the environment utilizing the games.
Over the past two years, the company has made these efforts for environmental causes, working with non-government organizations and players around the world to help make communities cleaner. The efforts take place leading up to Earth Day events. The company shared an update on this year’s efforts and results, which they are very satisfied with and thankful to their volunteering players and collaborators all over the world.
Starting before Earth Day on April 22, the company managed to accomplish the following goals over the course of three weeks:
- 176 NGO hosted events & 300 player hosted events
- 41 countries & 6 continents
- 17,000 players volunteered 41,000 hours
- 145 tons of trash was collected
- Partnered with 46 NGOs
Below is an overview map showing where all Earth Day event days occurred in partnership with Niantic Labs.
The company also shared a few photographs of players and organizations who helped them achieved their goals, such as One More Generation in Singapore, Heirs to Our Ocean in Nigeria, Orden de Guadalupe A.C. in Mexico (which worked with players from the community as well as local government officials and volunteers to clean up about 30 tons of garbage), Pure Earth in Philippines, Centre for Action Research on Environment Science and Society in India, and Plastic Ocean Project in the USA. Yennie Solheim Fuller, the manager of Social Impact at Niantic, emphasizes how much the collaboration means to them:
We’re astounded with how much everyone involved has achieved – an effort like this highlights how much impact people can have when they work together. Players worked in groups of 1 to 2,500, alongside government agencies, volunteer organizations, and fellow community members, creating incredible impact. […] Not only are players and community members out making the world cleaner, they’re working to support and build educational platforms that empower the next generation.
Other details on the environmental efforts are shared in the update. Niantic also says they’re grateful for the partnership with Playmob, which ensured that this year’s campaign went smoothly, delivering real and measurable impact on the environment.
This isn’t the only way Niantic is working with different organizations with augmented reality. Last year, we reported on the company’s collaboration with the UN to develop augmented reality games for global tourism.
What do you think of Niantic’s efforts and impressive results? What else can gaming companies do in terms of environmental development? Let us know in the comments below!