Niantic’s next game is Peridot, a virtual pet game reminiscent of everything from Tamagotchi to Neopets. It’s Niantic’s latest attempt to recreate the overwhelming success of Pokemon Go, this time with an experience firmly geared towards casual audiences.
In development for two and a half years, Peridot is Niantic’s first original property since Ingress. It’s built around breeding, breeding, and playing with mystical creatures called peridots, who wake up after thousands of years.
Like Niantic’s other games, Peridot will be structured around exploring the real world with your virtual pets. Using Nianatic’s Lightship ARDK technology, Peridots can recognize different terrains and forage for different objects depending on whether they are on grass, water, or sand. Gameplay will also change based on different weather patterns, and Niantic says it’s also working on implementing snow.
Peridot – Announcement Screenshot Gallery
Peridot will offer daily tasks including petting, feeding, and walking your creature. Individual peridots will also have their own desires, such as going to a specific destination or eating a blue tomato. There will be no consequences if you neglect your Peridot, so they will never die if you are busy and decide to do something else for a while. Instead, Niantic wants to reward players for coming back and playing more often.
“To be perfectly honest, we looked at a lot of pets in games. Our game design team was playing most of them while iterating on them,” producer Ziah Fogel said.
Peridots can be crossed together when they reach maturity, with each peridot varying in likes, dislikes, abilities and appearance. Individual archetypes include “Unicorn” and “Clownfish”, as well as more esoteric themes like “Jester”. Breeding will take place in special themed nests around certain archetypes, some capable of mutating one trait and others capable of mutating a host of traits.
Certain archetypes will be particularly rare and prized by players, Niantic says. Each peridot will have its own unique DNA, created with a mix of hand-created and procedurally generated assets.
While Peridot will be less about raids and battles than Pokémon Go, and more about breeding a series of virtual pets, Niantic says it’s doing its best to take the needs of rural gamers into consideration. .
An imaginative new friend. A story that belongs only to you. Peridot, a real-world pet adventure game where you breed, care for, and nurture one-of-a-kind lovable creatures. Pre-register today to stay up to date on our development! https://t.co/mMAQke9HiB pic.twitter.com/0RT5FRXC5G
— PlayPeridot (@playperidot) April 13, 2022
“It’s something we thought about a lot,” Fogel says. “This particular game, although it asks you to go to the point of interest [in-game areas based on real-world landmarks]especially for the breeding loop, there are other elements that can be done without a Point of Interest.”
They cite feeding, petting, and training as things that don’t require a point of interest to be activated. Additionally, Fogel says Niantic is looking at other ways to help rural players, like bringing in floatables.
Niantic also touched on microtransactions – another hot topic among gamers. Niantic says Peridot will offer a “wide variety” of in-app purchases, including the ability to grow creatures faster or have an easier time spawning in a particular habit or location of interest.
The balance of progression versus microtransactions has sometimes caused frustration among Pokémon Go players, but it’s also made $1 billion in 2020. Somehow, microtransactions were a no-brainer for Peridot.
Either way, Peridot may be Niantic’s chance to capture Pokemon’s continued appeal on its own terms without feeling like an off-brand clone. It will be available in select markets later this month in the App Store and Google Play. Niantic did not specify the markets where it would be available.
“It’s quite different [from Pokémon Go]”, says Fogel. “We think Peridot will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”
Kat Bailey is senior news writer at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have any advice? DM him at @the_katbot.