Recently, the artist from the Pokémon Go Hub, CoupleOfGaming, attended the MAG 2018 Convention in Erfurt Germany. If you don’t know what MAG is, it stands for Manga, Anime, Games. It basically is a convention where everything from video games to cosplays come together!
Two separate halls had been booked for this particular edition. One was mainly focusing on games, while the other one highlighted Animes and Cosplays. The Main Hall, as anyone would expect, presented a variety of big titles and names such as Nintendo (with Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, etc.), Niantic (with Ingress and Pokémon Go), Capcom (with Street Fighter Aracade), etc.
The Main Hall also had several small indie developer companies and games, along with many more booths all showcasing impressive and innovating games/technologies!
You might be wondering: “Why the hell would Metahub care about all this?” Well, it’s video games and technologies, so why wouldn’t we? This article will especially provide our overall experience of MAG Con 2018 and how it was to meet with big names like Niantic!
Obviously, every company wants to keep some secrets, so not much was shared with the attendees, but luckily for us, CoupleOfGaming knows how to charm people!
There were no leaks about Pokémon Go, so if that’s want you were hoping for, we won’t event apologize since we never implied that there would be. 😉 What we can say is that Niantic did have a lovely booth and experience for anyone who would stop by. Pokemon GO map as a carpet, a Pokéstop powerbank station, and a few goodies and giveaways such as team wrist bands, posters, paper Pikachu hats, etc.
If a new player wanted to know what the game is about (yes, these people exist, although they are a very rare species), the Niantic team would happily explain the game, differentiating it from the main series games, etc. Oh, and obviously, Niantic only brought over the big guns! Global Community Manager for Niantic (Andrew Krug), the Head of Product Marketing EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) for Niantic (Anne Beuttenmüller), EMEA Community Manager for Niantic (Dominik Schönleben) as well as many more Niantic Directors, Community Leads. etc. were all present!
At the Ingress booth, you could snag yourself various stickers (Ingress Logo, Team Logos), wrist bands and, in our opinion the coolest perk at the event, individual player cards from Niantic Agents to collect and trade! How could one get a card? Simply meeting with the Niantic Agents and they would provide attendees with their own personal player card! Each card has a unique style, a story about the person and how this Agent is woven into the storyline of Ingress. It was incredible to actually see how involved Niantic is with Ingress and how they are willing to push this game forward!
Throughout the convention, we met with various people, including the ones mentioned above. Among these people, there were also big names from Nintendo’s Head Quarters and every single one of them provided attendees with an incredible and personalized experience. For example, when meeting with Anne (Head of Product Marketing EMEA for Niantic), we had a long conversation where we learned about her history with Niantic, how she felt about the crazy turn-out that Pokémon Go is, what she looks forward to with the game and how excited she is about Ingress! You could tell from their passionate speeches that every Niantic representatives felt even more involved with Ingress as it’s actually their own product, and not shared with anyone else unlike Pokémon Go, so they are able to push it in the directions they want, whenever they want.
Another awesome person to have met with during MAG Convention was Dominik Schönleben, EMEA Community Manager for Niantic. We sat down with him, had a personal, passionate, and in-depth conversation about Pokémon Go and Ingress, to the extent where he invited us to attend the exclusive Ingress Prime Demo! At this demo, there was a person, going by the name of P.A. Chapeau (Henri Richard Loeb), the truth-seeker who wants to unravel the mystery behind Ingress and Niantic. Sounds like an act? It indeed was one, so brilliantly put together that you instantly felt that this AR game really is part of reality because you have a character from the game, acting out in real life (imagine having Prof. Willow walking around conventions, or Owen walking out Blue in the Main Hall)!
On top of this exclusive look, we were able to get a hands-on exclusive experience of the game (of which we cannot share any of the details), but we can guarantee that this will bring mobile gaming to a whole new level!
But Niantic didn’t stop there! We also got to see some artworks for the upcoming Ingress Anime which will be a Netflix Originals! Needless to say, they were incredibly amazing (and this comes from an artist)! This show will be a must watch for sure!
For Ingress, there seems to be a lot coming up in the near future! A simple look at the schedule of events (https://ingress.com/events) clearly proves it! Niantic really gives their best to deliver everything the players ask for! At MAG Con, Niantic was incredibly happy to get feedback from us and all the people who stopped by their booth so that they can improve the game the way people want it to be!
Overall, the experience was amazing. We really enjoyed getting in touch and talking to the people behind this big façade that is Niantic; to find out that we’re all the same people after all, people who love gaming and who want to bring a whole new gaming genre with a gigantic social aspect that connects people with the same passion, whether they are casual players or hardcore. Meeting with them in a context unrelated to Nintendo was an incredible experience, and we hope that many of you get to experience it. One could clearly see their passion for both games, but when it comes down to it, Niantic clearly has their favorite child. 😉
They have much more freedom to decide what to do when it comes to events, handing out goodies to players, and overall creating a massive universe, because it’s their own brand! Overall, this event and seeing Ingress PRIME might have convinced us to start playing Ingress ourselves and get to know all the awesome characters and story that’s hidden in the depth of Niantic’s office.