A brief history of Niantic Labs, the makers of Pokémon Go

Niantic Labs, a small gaming company previously owned by Google, has gone from a somewhat obscure gaming shop to one of the most prominent developers overnight.

The company launched Pokémon Go in July 2016, the first very long-awaited smartphone version of a Pokémon game. After holding out for nearly a decade, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have finally unleashed one of its most popular franchises onto smartphones, with Niantic Labs being central to the app’s development.

Niantic Labs has long had its roots in location-based technology, going all the way back to the early 2000s in CEO John Hanke’s first mapping company Keyhole. Follow along for a brief history of the company by clicking the arrows on the gallery.