Google announced Monday that it will open Google Maps Platform to everyone so developers can incorporate map data into their games. With the new tools, developers can easily create augmented reality games like Pokemon Go. It’s worth noting that Niantic, the game’s developer, was a Google-backed start-up with its own developer toolset and 3D mapping Ofd World platform.
(from: Google Cloud Blog)
Google is understood to have first released the tools in March 2018, but blog posts point out that only a handful of studios are still using them and only 10 games are available.
Given the interest in Google Maps Platform, independent game studios and other developers have been working to expand its infrastructure so that any developer can easily take advantage of it.
In addition, to make it easier to embed map data into the game, Google offers a software development kit for the popular Unity game engine to designate real-world locations as in-game points of interest.
Since its launch in 2018, Google Maps has also added new features to game development tools, such as the ability to display finer content in the area closest to the player and more sketchy content in areas farther away from the player to save power consumption on the phone.