Niantic CEO John Hanke and Mayhem CEO Ivan Zhou anounced in separate blog posts today the acquisition of the small San Francisco based social gaming startup by Niantic. The specific terms of the acquisition, including whatever fee may have been paid by Niantic, have not been disclosed by either chief executive.
Mayhem is best known for mayhem.gg, a social platform launched in 2019 which provides tools to gaming communities for creating their own organized leagues, ladders, and tournaments. In what will surely come as a blow to the millions of current Mayhem users, Niantic apparently plans to wind down this platform starting in February of this year. Niantic has indicated that the "majority" of Mayhem’s team members will joining Niantic with this acquisition, with Mayhem CEO Ivan Zhou joining Niantic’s social platform product team, and the rest of the team joining the Platform Engineering team. The technology behind Mayhem is planned to be incorporated into social efforts specific to Niantic's own apps, including Pokémon GO.
Niantic has in recent years made a number of acquisitions to expand both its employee skill base, and its technology. Mayhem will be their seventh such acquisition, following the 2020 acquisition of 6D.ai, a 3D mapping company.
Speaking about the acquisition, Hanke noted that "Real-world social interaction, as encouraged by fun gameplay as well as social features that build bonds between people across the globe, is critical to our mission", and that "Through our games, many Niantic explorers have found incredible meaning in playing and interacting with other explorers. They create memories, they make friends, and they end up with some amazing stories to tell. We look forward to working together with Mayhem to amplify those moments, bring our player community closer together, and make a positive impact on the world."