Dan Morris, the Head of Developer Relations at Facebook Reality Labs, left the company and is joining Niantic in a very similar role.
At Niantic, Morris will be the Director of Developer Relations, a role which will no doubt be similar in capacity to his role at Facebook, which shared a very similar name.
“There’s no other job in the world that I would have left for but this one,” said Morris, in a prepared statement posted to the Niantic blog. “Niantic’s technology unlocks something magical and uniquely exciting – an ability for people to enjoy AR experiences together, out in the real world, on whichever devices they’re carrying. Pokémon GO players are already living this, and the Lightship ARDK will enable third-party developers to build their own creations on top of our foundation.”
Niantic say that Morris is “hitting the ground running” and is already reviewing projects and nailing down the application process for the Lightshp ARDK private beta. The blog announcement post also encourages developers who haven’t signed up for the Lightship ARDK private beta to do so as soon as possible. “I look forward to identifying developers with compelling proposals and prototypes so that we can help them get to work building their dream applications ahead of general availability for the Lightship ARDK,” said Morris.
The Lightship platform is Niantic’s “planet-scale” AR platform which provides developers with an SDK to build AR experiences on a global map — a type of game popularized by Niantic’s mega-hit Pokemon Go in 2016. Several other games have since replicated the formula to varying success, including 2019’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and the upcoming Transformers: Heavy Metal.
Another AR-based game from Niantic is set to release in partnership with Nintendo this year as well, based on the Pikmin franchise.