N is not for Niantic

At 5:30 EDT yesterday afternoon, every Ingress player got an in-game push of this G+ post:


All the tech news sites burbled into action.

The funny thing is, so soon after the announcement of the reorg of Google into Alphabet, this first major transaction appears not to involve creation of a letter of the Alphabet.  Niantic is really going its own way (with ownership interest, but not full management, by Google).

This will no doubt mean a stronger need for Niantic to be revenue-generating, and it's hard to think of ways for that to happen that don't degrade the experience of playing Ingress. Unblockable ads? A paid premium version? In-game purchases for good items? More, and more aggressive, vendor tie-ins? Some or all of these are probably coming.

Deciding to continue to play is pretty much a daily task. We're usually not conscious of it. That could change very soon.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F