What is the difference between Ingress and other mobile games?

GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2021 in General

I looked at the profits from Pokemon Go and how people play my game in my hometown. I felt sad.

The news says that despite the pandemic, the most profitable year for Pokemon GO was 2020: it brought the publisher $ 1.3 billion, 41% more than 2019.

I didn't understand Pokemon, you run, catch animals and make them fight each other. Despite the widespread pandemic - on each raid of a very rare Pokemon, 20-30 people gather under the portal in my small town. You walk in the park, everyone keeps their distance despite the relaxation of quarantine measures, but not these fanatics. Here is a group of Pokemon Go players, there is a group of Pokemon Go players. Under the temple, 10 people are catching a xenomorph with a difficult to pronounce name, and opposite the temple, another group of maniacs is catching a taxi to go out of town in order to catch another creature that looks like a monster from a children's book. Conclusion, it means they are interested. So Nia was able to make a product that users like and they fanatically, sometimes even risking their health, go hunting for Pokemon!

At the same time, only I go to ingress around the city ... in iitc there used to be 10-15 people regularly. and at the best of times, there were 40 agents in our small town.

What's going on in our game? Why can't an Ingress company create a profitable product that everyone will love and advertise it as a Legendary game from the creators of Pokemon Go? Why has the game ceased to be interesting for the majority of players?

On my own I will add, I'm ready to pay for the game But the game subscription and even the game itself is buggy, there is no one to play this game with (out of 25 active agents there are only 2-3 left and they do not play every day), I would like to buy various souvenirs directly from company, but unfortunately I can only buy souvenirs for the game from resellers.

Can any of the company's employees comment on this situation? 

I honestly can't figure out why games like pubg have a new season every few months with tons of new content! And here devalopers cannot fix a simple chat in half a year and are proud of two low-poly drones that any professional designer will draw in a few hours!

A successful and profitable game project is a huge team of specialists working on a specific game in order to improve it, change it, keep in touch with the community and try to update this project as quickly as possible, otherwise competitors will devour you.

Over the past few years, several versions of Assassins Creed have been developed, cyberpunk and many other lucrative projects have been developed, why can't you do the same with Ingress?

Post edited by GreenVam on


  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, they made exactly an interesting game for many players, which is played by both preschool children and adults. A modern user will not play all sorts of rubbish, even if based on a popular brand.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    pogo is mostly pve.... and u can now raid from home... u dont really need be around people either like ingress u need teammates to build portals.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is immediately clear that you have never played Pokemon Go. To catch a rare Pokemon, up to a hundred players gather on the raid.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    let's take the game cyberpunk 2077. A bunch of models, a lot of different things needed to be programmed, it turned out to be a whole world. It took several years. Ingress is developing even more, but it stands still. Why is there a whole season in pubg with a new map of the next add-on the size of an island and we have only bug fixes? Well, okay, they can't even fix bug fixes sometimes for half a year. I'm wondering why our beloved game has fallen into disrepair over the past few years. And I will separately note that this game is unique in its kind, and many people still love it, why isn’t developers tackled it the way other companies do? With full support, dialogue with the community, and so on.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    Niantiс company performs games that bring billions !!!! What prevents them from investing in an already promoted project? Investment is such a word. Can't the company see that the game is dying? There are fewer and fewer players.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    And who treated Ingress seriously and with due attention? Who analyzed the audience and this group of people? Not. Has anyone ever asked about what we need? Also no. There are such project managers who ruin the whole project in style "I know how to do it". In a company I know, a consultant was appointed to sell HVAC equipment a manager who had previously sold Coca-Cola. As a result, the whole direction was almost turned off. Here, too, one of the projects is constantly deprived of attention from the authorities, there has been no restructuring and a plan for further actions for a long time.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    However, they do new projects instead of tidying up the ingress.

  • TrerroTrerro ✭✭✭

    One of the biggest pandemic changes to PoGo was massively increasing the range you can interact with stops and gyms at. I believe it's currently 100m. Most raids can easily be done with 10 people or less (way less if everyone's high level), and it's not terribly difficult to get 10 people socially distanced, while still all within a 100m radius, especially if a few do it from a car. Additionally, they've been regularly giving "remote raid passes", which you consume to join a raid at any distance. Friends even have the option to invite you to their raid, (which consumes one of those passes if you're not near the target, and likewise, has infinite range).

    Taking out a gym likewise only takes a few people, and that's if anyone's bothering to defend. There's also a PvP league if you want to directly fight players from around the world (it finds opponents by a matchmaker and basically an ELO rating).

    PoGo also gives everyone an automatic daily mini-quest in case they can't easily get to a stop, Team Rocket attacks you by balloon every 6 hours so you don't have to go looking for them, there's a daily supply box with a few basic items in it, and incense (attracts additional spawns) has had the spawn rate turned up to something like 1/minute (and they also gave everyone 30 of them for free, and a few more here and there).

    All of this combines to ensure the game can function, even if you're living somewhere that the pandemic is raging and the vaccine hasn't arrived yet. In my area, before the vaccine arrived, that also led to a whole lot of attacking gyms from a parked car, since you could be waaaaay off and still in the extended range.

    Ingress has the drone to ensure you can make decent use of an L8 cluster somewhere without being there, the double 7 deploy so 2 people vaxxed or in the same household can go around making L7 portals, and the 90 second timer to discourage excessive gathering at a portal... all of which help, but it's a much lower effort than what PoGo did, and as a result, almost all activity basically stopped until the vaccine arrived, and even now, there's very little activity in my area.

  • So much this. I do think that the best bet for making Ingress profitable is to (1) lean into the competitive element (especially competitive events) and (2) take it in a more e-sports direction. With the right kind of reportage and editing, Anomalies could make for some fairly compelling spectator viewing (the bus gambit alone was epic). And where you have potential viewers, you have potential advertisers (and cash). But to really do that, Niantic would need to acknowledge that they are actually a game company (their leadership has been known to loudly deny this, which is evidence that they've fallen into the classic management fail of refusing to be the company that you actually are) and make a lot of investments that might or might not pan out. Who knows if they will do it.

    Still, to go back to OP's question, one of iIngress's great strengths is its community. That has attenuated a bit, but a renewed focus on live events as the pandemic (hopefully) wanes could start to bring it back. There is a whole network of serious Ingress players who want the game to succeed, and they've proven time and again that they'll put their own resources into making that happen if they can. This is a huge asset, if leveraged properly, and it's something that most other games don't have.

    (Oh, and vis a vis PoGo, let's get real: it's a remarkably shallow, frustratingly clunky, fairly exploitative mobile game that has if anything gotten worse over time. But the Pokemon IP is - thanks to the work of others - insanely great stuff, and the game doesn't actually have to be very good to keep rolling along. Booting up Ingress and keeping it alive this long was a much greater achievement, involving some very creative work (go back and look at the history of the game in the early years) with no existing fan base to serve as a safety net. PoGo is a cash cow, and Niantic rides it like one. Ingress is actually their baby. The issue, presumably, is getting the baby to the point where it can pay the rent on an ongoing basis.)

  • KonnTowerKonnTower ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    I think a few people have already touched on the most critical aspects to answer your original question. But, to recap:

    1) Pokemon GO became a hit due to the IP of pokemon mixed with the fact that the people loyal in the fanbase literally play video games. Pokemon was built through playing video games on a handheld. Take a look at Harry Potter's release, game has zero stable community/popularity. They brought in a blockbuster franchise hoping to replicate the popularity of pokemon but guess what? Harry Potter fans don't play video games. They read books. As such, the game stagnated fast. Mostly it was Pokemon GO players trying to grind hard to max level first in their area for prestige. I can't even remember what the point of collecting things was in that game and the raid system was equally boring.

    Want Ingress to have a chance to become popular? You need to find a video game franchise that has been popular over the years with regular players, which also fits with the mechanics of the game Niantic created. Good luck.

    2) Ingress was told to become profitable as a standalone business unit. Ingress carried Niantic into the business opportunity until it could develop pokemon go. From that point on, pokemon carried ingress financially. Ingress Prime took a few steps toward helping Niantic justify the cost of development in Ingress. Why? Because on the profit/loss statement, they can now bill coding work done in Ingress as potential gains in revenue in pokemon go with the sharing of codebases. Also their existing code from pokemon can be shifted into use in Ingress too. Much easier to justify risk on a project when your code can be used in both games. Drones were a great tool to come out of the global pandemic and I'm sure there is some code sharing between this project and the remote raiding systems somewhere.

    3) This isn't so much a recap as it is me adding to the conversation to answer your original question. Pokemon and other AR games are not competitive in the same way Ingress is. At most, pokemon players have to compete for gym ownership in their area, but the game doesn't really get broken if they aren't able to own a gym. Ingress, however, has all linking and fielding disabled if someone is constantly covered by fields. You have two factions competing for geographic dominance in a prisoners' dilemma, with continuous iterated moves, where the game is neverending. The game is highly competitive, but the nash equilibrium result of many many many cycles of play results in one faction dominating and the opposing faction deciding to no longer play or care about the win scenario of MU gained per cycle. You'd be hard pressed to find super competitive play for cycle scores anymore due to the population imbalances in areas due to the inability of the losing faction to play.

    To kind of blend this in with the point of Ingress being told to be a profitable, popular, standalone product in the AR world.... Niantic's worst enemy for Ingress in the AR world is....... Pokemon go. To play Ingress takes much more complicated moves, much more planning/resources, and much more cooperation/teamwork. Which at the end of the day, doesn't guarantee victory. Pokemon on the other hand, gives instant dopamine hits with shinies, raid battles with constant opportunities to catch, community day events, etc. which don't require competition. It's very much a community of people that compete in a way similar to social media. Go check on any community chat and people are in a neverending ****-measuring competition. Look at how many shinies i have, how many shinies did you catch at community day, look at how many perfect pokemon i have, look at how many gold gym badges i have, etc. There is no restriction to where they can play and the problematic issues Ingress has with spoofing aren't as consequential in Pokemon. As such, spoofing/multiaccounting is much more rampant in that community, where everyone is a walking arsenal of 3-4+ accounts that can solo level 5 raids at-will (lookin' at YOU, pokemon bicycle guy with 20 phones!). So what does that mean for Ingress? Well.... All those players who are potential Ingress customers.... Are also potential Pokemon players. When self-interested people are presented with the choice to spend their free time (and potentially money) between Ingress and Pokemon Go, what will they choose? To join the stagnating, complicated, resource/time intensive game where seasoned veterans who have no use for AP will try and force them out of the game as a strategy by keeping them covered? Or the more casual game which provides guaranteed returns on time/resources invested and people aren't in direct competition for in-game resources? It's an easy, easy, EASY answer. Not Ingress.

    How do you fix the dilemma? Make the game easier to play, but try to retain some of the competitive elements such as anomalies and MU scoring. They're starting to make headwinds into this via Apex and regular events where AP can be gained easier... But something else has to give. When new people can't link/field and don't have a realistic chance to play half the game until they've leveled up and maybe learned how to operate the intel map, they leave for easier hits of enjoyment like Pokemon. Kinda hard when you're competing with your own products but trying to retain individuality at the same time. Especially when your dev budget is based on your revenue as an individual game, not as a whole company. I could go on and on all night discussing the imbalance of information that new players have versus veterans too via intel and other communication/planning tools, but what I've got here is enough to add to the discussion.

    Post edited by KonnTower on
  • KonnTowerKonnTower ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also, I failed to work in the fact that Ingress relies on the "network effect" to be a fun/interesting game. Over time, this network has broken down due to stagnation, previously mentioned nash equilibrium, and just age of the product.

    Light reading:


  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll try to tell you about my area. I used to have up to 10 players from each faction in the city. Everyone was actively playing, attracted new players, participated with friends in sports competitions. But then the prime began, and many left because the prime became uncomfortable for them. Some of the players all the same returned and continued to play, but then cross-factional events and the first Saturday began, and we, because of the principle, did not start this event together with rivals, because ingress is a fight between blue and green, planning operations against an opponent, and not peaceful snoring in unison while sitting side by side on the same bench. Then our opponents from the blue faction, for the sake of a medal, began to recruit green players among fans to play Pokemon. And later then everyone in my team lost hope that the prime would bring something new to the game. Old players complained that Lords Mobile and many other online games have new events and new content every few months, but we have only bug fixes. And for more than half a year, most active players from both factions have abandoned the game. It will take another half a year and the city will simply be covered in the old fashioned way once every half a year ... and that's it. The game will die completely. I want to help the company, maybe even pay somewhere, but there is nothing for that, our game is dying, while its producer is thinking which faction to choose. 

    I want to say that the pandemic has not greatly affected the Ingress situation in my city. Half a year before her, we did not have much active action because everyone was bored. then they also took away from us the goal in the form of factional uniqueness with shapers ... this generally crippled the morale of the enlightened agents ...

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    First of all, ingress is not a sport, it is a battlefield. We need not only sports, but also a real battle with the ability to capture and hold territories, conduct military operations, open new horizons and technologies for our faction. A wonderful sci-fi story about the battle of corporations, extraterrestrial beings and possibly even governments of different countries. That's what Ingress is. Not dull drawing of triangles, but real planning several steps ahead, not dull seizure of territory, but a clear understanding of why each individual step of the teamwork is being done. Ingress is a team battle with an opponent.

    Not cooperating with Smurfs is the norm, for us agents of enlightenment. no need to reconcile us or try to make friends with the enemy. We have our own secret chats, our own management structure, and our own traditions. We are different, but we are fighting in the same battle. It's nice to hear such wise words from my opponent.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree. Ingress is too confusing despite the simplicity of the game mechanics. There is no clear structure of the content in the game. Let me give you an example. ADA is talking about shapers, although shapers have long been defeated in the game and have never been in the game. How do I explain this to a newbie? and the sounds from the portals that do not correspond to the plot? Again, there is an imbalance in the direction of attack, but not defense, although many will disagree with me. Aegis shield can be knocked out in 30 seconds, which is not normal. 

  • MuzzgoodMuzzgood ✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    Oups double post!

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think, for me, is that ingress has seemingly taken a break from events and getting people playing the game. The last few months has seen some action, but to hold half the world back because the other half can’t leave their homes has been frustrating. If people are bored with the game, they’ll find something else to do. Find ways to introduce badges that can be done at any time. I proposed something along those lines months ago. Make a purchasable badge that can be still be earned, but not in a seven day window, but whenever the agent feels like it. Daily tasks would have been a no brained in my opinion, much smarter than epoch, but I guess rehashing sojourner was easier to implement.

  • TrerroTrerro ✭✭✭

    PotterGo also had everything centered on a stamina bar, severely limiting how you could play the game, in total contrast to Niantic's other 2 games. Only one type of building (and there were a few) could refill a piece of it on a timer, and there was no way to store it - imagine you had 5x the XM capacity, but it took half an hour to refill your bar and power cubes didn't exist. The goal was to get people to pay to refill the bar, like some very exploitative mobile games do. Everyone I know who played either or both other Niantic games gave it a shot, liked that it had skill trees and active combat, and would've been fine with running around as mages, whether or not they knew anything about the series or had ever touched the books. (I mean really, does the plot of Ingress have ANY actual in-game effect?) Every last one of us also left, in a matter of days, because of that stamina bar. I suspect the bar was WB's decision rather than Niantic's, but it single-handedly killed the game.

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