Catan’s developer has recently announced that it is creating a “massively multiplayer location-based game” called Catan: World Explorers. Niantic, the creator of Pokémon GO, has officially been confirmed as the studio in charge of the new title.
Initial reports made no indication that Niantic would be involved in the game, however it seemed like the logical choice. No other company is as successful with location-based games as Niantic, having crafted three excellent titles in the genre (those being Ingress, Pokémon GO, and Wizards Unite). In fact, even before the announcement from Niantic, fans were able to find source code in Catan: World Explorers that originated from Ingress — a clear indication of either Niantic’s involvement or a criminal offense of “code-stealing.”
The official description lists the mobile game as a "...massively multiplayer augmented reality game that transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN." The listing goes on — "Harvest, trade, and build in the real-world as cities and landmarks are transformed into opportunities to collect resources and build settlements.” Players will have to explore their surroundings to collect resources that should look familiar to those who played the board game — Bricks, Lumber, Grain, Ore, and Wool. While some resources might be plentiful in your region, others will be incredibly scarce and require you to trade with other players.
These resources can then be used to, "...transform humble settlements into booming metropolises!” How exactly that will play out is yet to be seen — however, we’d imagine it will look something similar to a combination of Minecraft Earth and Pokémon GO.
We're one resource short of launching this page. Settle down and check back soon! pic.twitter.com/xcbwVxXNx9— CATAN: World Explorers (@CatanWorldExp) October 26, 2019
As you build these settlements and team up with allies, you’ll earn Victory Points. At the end of each Season, Victory Points will be tallied to create local and global leaderboards, with those high on the list earning rewards that carry over to the next Season. Again, what these rewards are and how they benefit players has yet to be released.
It all sounds incredibly ambitious and is a game Catan fans should be keeping a close eye on. With Niantic at the helm, hopes are high that this AR-installment will rival the success of the tabletop game.
Those interested can pre-register on the official Catan: World Explorers website.