June 30, 2020 – Punchdrunk, a British theatre company that provides interactive theatrical experiences, has today announced a major collaboration with Niantic, the developers behind the popular augmented reality gaming experiences Pokémon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Although not announcing much more than simply the existence of the partnership, Punchdrunk stated on its website: “Niantic’s Real World Platform will give us the opportunity to take our work outside of buildings and into the world around you. Across multiple projects, we want to bend the rules of genre and redefine the norms of mobile gaming. Our hope is that together, we can create something no one else can.”
Punchdrunk put on a theatre production titled ‘Sleep No More’, which told Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth through a darkly cinematic lens and offered audiences an experience that allowed them to move freely through the story, creating their own journeys through a film noir world. The company stated that since the launch of its Sleep No More, New York production, it had often heard audiences comparing the show to a game. This idea has supposedly fascinated the company for some time and led Punchdrunk to imagine what would happen if it integrated game mechanics and digital technology into its work.
As a result, Punchdrunk stated “We believe that the future of interactive audience experience will be at the cross section of gaming and theatre. Past projects such as Silverpoint, Believe Your Eyes and Kabeiroi have scratched the surface, but our ambitions for what we want to achieve are much larger.”
What the partnership has planned is yet to be seen, but with Niantic on board, it is likely to feature augmented reality in some way, shape or form. Stay tuned for more updates on the collaboration.
Image credit: Niantic / Punchdrunk