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Niantic buys 3D animation app Evertoon to work on Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go developer Niantic is expanding and has acquired Evertoon. The company creates a 3D animation app of the same name that puts uploaded photos on to the faces of 3D avatars.

There are no details about the acquisition financially but the team will join up with Niantic to work on its various projects, taking advantage of their creative skillset. The Evertoon app launched in 2016 but had been a passion project of CEO Niniane Wang since 2010, who waited until smartphone technology had caught up enough to realise her vision. The company earned $1.7 million in in seed funding to make the Evertoon app.

"We created Evertoon in order to democratize storytelling," said Wang on the Evertoon website. "We noticed the advent of #OscarsSoWhite and saw how people feel pressured from social networks to be increasingly photogenic. Our mission is to use animation to enable video creation for anyone with stories to tell, regardless of their looks, race, or age. It has been wonderful seeing this come to fruition in our diverse community.

"Through the course of our company, we learned a great deal about building community and social experiences. We’ve gotten to know other companies who would derive great value from this. We will be adding a social platform to Niantic’s amazing roster of games, including Pokémon GO, Ingress, and future titles. We’ll also be contributing engineering leadership experience. Niantic’s games are unique in bringing people together in the real world, and we’re excited to weave our expertise into them."

"The Niantic family is growing, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome a great group of people who will help evolve, challenge and grow our company in new ways," added Niantic CEO, John Hanke. "Niniane and her team have been exploring innovative ways to add social mechanics to digital products. As our products and platform evolve, they will help build social systems that will benefit our entire community. We are also excited to have Niniane’s engineering leadership and team management skills, as our team grows."

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