The Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest
We invite you to reach beyond reality and apply for the Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest. Explore and create an impactful geospatial AR play experience with the Niantic Real World Platform, and compete for your share of a prize pool of more than one million USD.
For more details on the contest, please check out our blog and please see the Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest Official Rules.
If you’re ready to apply, please tell us more about your project and your team below. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at
Good luck. We can’t wait to see what you’ll build.
Judging Criteria
As with any project-based contest, we will be looking at multiple factors in order to decide which teams will be selected to move on to the development phase. First and foremost, teams with projects that have a clear-cut and innovative approach to both AR and geospatial technology will stand out from the pack. Additionally, teams that can describe what makes their game loops compelling and fun in detail will also be at an advantage.
We’re also paying close attention to the technical background of team members, as well as the overall team dynamic in later stages, to determine whether the team is set up for success and a good fit to work within the guidelines of this project. Describing your team’s technological background, programming proficiency, and additional skills will be the best way for us to assess whether the team is capable of accomplishing their idea within the time limit.
In short, we are looking for teams that are passionate about AR and geospatial gaming, and have the know-how to make it all happen. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at We can’t wait to meet you.
+ - What are the stages of the contest?
The contest will be a two-phase process: the application phase, and the development phase. Teams interested in the contest are encouraged to complete the application found here. From there, 10 teams will be asked to compete in the development phase, and those finalists will be announced in mid-March. Finalists will have four months to build their proposed design, with some support from Niantic. This work will culminate in a Demo Day, slated for the Summer of 2019.
+ - What is the deadline to apply?
All initial applications, including supporting materials such as game design briefs and video, must be received by 5:00 P.M. PST on February 17, 2019 in order to be considered.
+ - How many people should I have on my team?
Due to the breadth and complexity of the Niantic Real World Platform, we are requiring that teams have a minimum of five people in order to meet contest deadlines. However, any additional team member support is at your discretion.
+ - What type of work experience and technical expertise is Niantic looking for?
While we encourage teams to be well-rounded with diverse programming skills, the Niantic Real World Platform requires both Unity development and Java server development experience. Teams with adequate experience in both of those areas will be best suited for the unique challenges of this contest.
+ - Do I need to code a prototype for the initial application submission?
No, you do not need a prototype for the initial application. We encourage you to instead show off your team’s qualifications and portfolio of projects, and the broader impact you feel your project will have when it is brought to life.
+ - Where will I be located when I’m working on the hackathon? Will I need to travel if I qualify?
All teams are welcome to work remotely for the duration of the contest. However, there will be mandatory attendance for the contest kick-off event and Demo Day, which will both take place in the San Francisco Bay Area. Niantic will facilitate travel for non-local finalists for both of these events.
+ - Will I be able to work directly with Niantic employees?
Finalists will be able to work directly with Niantic employees, receiving support and guidance throughout the development phase of the contest.
+ - What tools and support will Niantic provide?
Finalists will have access to the Niantic Real World AR and geospatial development kits with Unity and Java API support in order to build their projects. As projects get underway, Niantic will host finalists’ servers on our cloud platform. Plus, in addition to the aforementioned support of Niantic employees, finalists will also have access to thorough documentation and samples to ensure their questions about the software are answered.
+ - Will Niantic provide any hardware during the development phase?
No, Niantic will not provide any hardware to the finalists for the development phase. All selected teams are required to furnish their own Mac-based hardware for development. Additionally, teams must be able to provide their own mobile hardware (with built-in ARKit or ARCore support) for playtesting.
+ - Who has rights to the entries?
Any intellectual property created by your team–including proposed artwork and concepts–will be owned by your team. In turn, Niantic will retain ownership over its technology and the Real World Platform, as well as any other resources provided to you during the contest. All entrants, upon submission, will provide Niantic with a perpetual license to use their entries, both for marketing purposes and to incorporate any features or concepts, including gameplay, into its platform, technology, and future products. For more details, please see the Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest Official Rules.
+ - Can I use Niantic or third-party copyrighted, or trademarked characters or brands?
No. Projects that utilize either Niantic or third-party copyrighted or trademarked characters will be disqualified.
+ - Can I use open-source/third-party source code, developer kits, or products for my project?
The use of any third-party code, developer kits or products is subject to Niantic’s sole discretion, upon written approval. Guidelines for approval of the use of open-source software will be made available to finalist teams prior to the development phase.