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By 15 March 2018 | Categories: news

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Remember those carefree days of Pokémon Go? Everyone coming together to catch them all? Expect more of these augmented reality games in future thanks to Google Maps. The company has announced that the Google Maps APIs are now available for game developers to help built virtual worlds.

According to Clementine Jacoby, product manager of Google Maps APIs, the Unity mobile game engine is the first to be integrated, turning Google Maps' constantly updated building, roads and parks into GameObjects. These can be manipulated accordingly, with game creators able to design these to fit any type of game on offer – a zombie styled apocalypse, a war-ravaged wasteland or, well, a Candy Crush world of joy-joy.

Google Maps has of course a vast amount of data available, with millions of landmarks and 3D buildings from more than 200 countries. This makes Maps a valuable resource for game creators, which can turn hole cities into playable landscapes.

A man who should know a thing or two about the API update is Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games. The company is working on The Walking Dead Our World augmented reality title, set to launch soon (see video below). He notes, “Google Maps’ unrivalled location data, covering world-famous landmarks, businesses and buildings, like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, London Eye, Burj Khalifa, and India Gate, makes exploring your surroundings a breath-taking experience,” he notes.

With the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite augmented reality game the next big thing expected from Niantic, creators of Pokémon Go, there’s no doubt that AR will be back in the spotlight in 2018.

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