An cute, unfinished digital creature roams an unfinished digital cityscape beneath the Niantic logo.

Enlarge (credit: Niantic)

How could Niantic, the leading developers of Pokémon Go, possibly top its augmented-reality (AR) gaming sensation? Today’s announcement from the studio hints at its future strategy: find someone else to do it.

The Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest talks up a prize pool of more than $1 million, but the real meat of this “contest” is a brand-new incubator program that seeks to marry nimble, indie teams with Niantic’s proprietary “Real World Platform” toolset. Interested developers need to come up with a team of at least five people with demonstrable experience in Unity and Java Server and send a 10-page pitch document (as opposed to a working prototype).

Where’s Simon Cowell?

Niantic has also asked for pitch videos of up to five minutes in length from each interested developer, which somewhat resembles a reality-TV contest. However, a quick scan of the contest’s rules includes no mention of contestants agreeing to any sort of ongoing filmed content as part of the contest (especially since most of the three-month period will be spent in participants’ home cities).

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