Google launches new map-based game 'Verne', challenges Pokemon Go
Google has now launched its newest addition to its spree of app-based games, which is enabled using their Google Maps platform. With Google Maps' 3D imagery technology, the new game, titled 'Verne' will let users discover and explore the mountainous terrain of the Himalayas. Targeting kids, Google said it will allow users to learn about the region's geography and enjoy the real-time mountain graphics.
Google is one of the largest internet companies worldwide, providing internet and software services such as cloud computing, applications, search engines, and other technology. Starting out in a garage in California, it was founded 17 years ago by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both Stanford PhD students. With subsidiaries such as YouTube and Vevo under its credit, Google has clocked over a billion visitors.
Pokemon Go is a free, app-based augmented reality game that is location-based, enabling its users to venture outside; into the neighbourhood to play the game. The game was launched last month, by Niantic Labs, which was earlier under Google before they separated late last year. The game, available across iOS and Android devices, claimed to have over 100 million downloads across the world.
How did Pokemon Go come into play?
Surprisingly, the idea for the game evolved from one of Google's many April fools jokes that the internet giant is famous for. Two years ago, Google announced that Google Maps will invite users to use its location-based services to catch fictional monsters using the app, saying that they were looking for the ultimate "Pokemon master". Niantic Labs later developed this idea into Pokemon Go.
Japanese company Nintendo, which partly owns Pokemon Co., saw its shares surge over 50 percent since the much-awaited game launched in July 6. The company also saw its market capitalisation more than doubled to touch $42 billion.
Players to don a Yeti's avatar
"As Verne, you can run up Mt. Everest in seconds, skate across icy lakes, chase yaks, discover bits of information, ride a jetpack, play traditional Himalayan instruments, and more," Google said.