Niantic buys competitive gaming platform Mayhem – TechCrunch

Pokémon Go creator Niantic has acquired a small SF gaming startup creating a league and tournament organization platform to help gamers build their communities around popular titles.

Melee Y was in the Winter 2018 batch of Combinator and raised $ 5.7 million according to funding CrunchBase. Other backers include Excel, which led a series of startups in 2018 to A, Eff Capital and NextGen Venture Partners.

The startup’s focus has changed significantly since its initial YC debut, when it announced a service called Visor, which will analyze Aspect gameplay and videos of coach users to see how they can improve their performance. The company has helped shift its focus entirely to community tools, so that gamers can find matches and organize tournaments for games such as Overwatch on their platform.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed Niantic .

The “majority” of Mayhem’s team will join Niantic with startup CEO Ivan Zhou Landing in the company’s social platform product team, while the rest of the team joins Platform Engineering.

In a statement, Niantic claims that the acquisition “reinforces our commitment to real-world social as the focal point of our mission.”

Read a deep dive of Niantic at Extra Crunch

Most acquisitions of Niantic as of late have focused on augmented reality backend technologies, so it is interesting to focus on purchasing technology that focuses on community organization.

Pokémon Go is Niantic’s cash cow, although the company has not seen similar levels of viral success with subsequent releases where organic development is not easy enough. Buying Startup Building Community Tools shows that the company is ready to bring in some outside technology to further their own efforts as they strive to create a broader platform for their AR ambitions and more of their own Standalone hits.