Google's bringing its Maps APIs to augmented reality game development

Pokémon Go is one of the biggest mobile games to ever be released, and later this year, we'll see similar AR games that get people moving in the real world while interacting with the lore of Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and more. To help make the development of these titles as easy as possible, Google's launching new Maps APIs for the Unity game engine.

According to Google:

To make it easy to get started, we've brought the richness of Google Maps to the Unity game engine. We turn buildings, roads, and parks into GameObjects in Unity, where developers can then add texture, style, and customization to match the look and feel of your game. This means that they can focus on building rich, immersive gameplay without the overhead of scaffolding a global-scale game world.

The API grants developers access to more than 100 million 3D models of roads, buildings, and landmarks across 200+ countries, and this will enable AR games to work in virtually any nook and cranny of the globe.

Commenting on this announcement, Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen said:

When new buildings or roads are built, we'll have access to them in our game. Google Maps' unrivaled location data, covering world-famous landmarks, businesses and buildings, like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, London Eye, Burj Khalifa, and India Gate, makes exploring your surroundings a breathtaking experience.

Google will have a demo of this technology at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco next week if you want to get an early look at what's to come, and you can contact Maps' sales department now to get more info on integrating the APIs into future titles of yours.

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.