Niantic Partners with Playcrafting for Lightship Augmented Reality Jam

New York, NY (June 23, 2021) — New York-based game development company Playcrafting is teaming up with AR technology company  Niantic, the creator of augmented reality hits like PokémonGO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, to launch a global AR software jam this summer, the companies announced Wednesday.

Three events will take place around the world during the jam, which will run from June to September, with 60 developers selected and paid to participate, receiving training in a workshop about the Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK), and then creating their games and apps with the software development kit.

The summer’s Playcrafting/Niantic partnership will culminate with a series of livestreams highlighting the teams in the Global Lightship Jam and their creations. More details to come on how you can watch the streams.

“Reaching and inspiring developers to use the newest AR tools in our Lightship ARDK is important to us and partnering with Playcrafting to get our jam on is the perfect way to accelerate the creative process,” said Meghan Hughes, head of platform and developer marketing at Niantic. “With Lightship ARDK, developers can quickly build a new AR experience with our tools and no matter what they choose to build, seeing those demos and prototypes come to life on our platform is incredibly rewarding and motivating.”

Niantic Lightship encompasses the full Niantic platform, including the suite of tools and services that power Niantic games. Niantic Lightship ARDK is a robust set of tools that enable developers to create multiplayer experiences and bring them to life with depth, physics, occlusions, and semantic segmentation.

The current schedule for the jams is:

  • United States: July 6 to July 12
  • Europe: July 25 to July 31
  • Japan: Aug. 29 to Sept. 4

Playcrafting and Niantic are in the process of selecting participating developers based on region, experience, diversity, and studio size.

The overarching themes for the jam are discovery, exploration, and getting outside. The software should cover multiple vertices, such as fitness, sports, social impact, entertainment, music, and travel, and can be created using other technologies, which then use Lightship to bring them to life.

For more details and to apply for this opportunity visit

“We’re delighted to work with Niantic on the Lightship Global Jam to help leverage the full power of Lightship in unlocking the future of AR through developers around the world,” said Playcrafting’s Founder & CEO Dan Butchko. “It’s exciting to see the makers of the world’s best-known AR games support creators worldwide with the technology that can help them build what comes next. This is an unprecedented opportunity for developers to build games and experiences that blend our physical and virtual worlds. There’s no better time to give folks new ways to explore, discover, and get outside.”

About Playcrafting
Playcrafting is the largest network of game creators in New York and one of the largest in the U.S. Playcrafting offers more than 50 local and industry-recognized classes and events, such as the Play NYC convention, The Bit Awards, and the largest Global Game Jam site in the U.S. These events give game creators and fans the chance to connect, learn and play. Since 2017, Playcrafting has connected the world’s biggest companies with game developers worldwide. These partnerships have generated 88 games and prototypes and over $2 million in funding for independent developers with companies like Bose, Google, Verizon, the NFL, Facebook, IBM, and Schick. Click here for more on our brand partnerships and to discover ways gaming can move your company and industry forward through play!

About Niantic
Niantic is a leading AR company, inspiring people to explore the world, together. Our slate of products–Ingress, Pokémon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite–reaches a global community of hundreds of millions of Niantic explorers. Niantic’s Lightship planet-scale AR platform powers all Niantic games and enables developers and creators to build engaging AR experiences that inspire movement, exploration, and connection on a global scale. For more information go to, and @nianticlabs.