Pokémon GO creator Niantic has acquired a small SF game launcher that builds a league and tournament organization platform to help players create their own communities around popular titles.
Mayhem was in the Y Combinator’s winter 2018 batch and continued to raise $ 5.7 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Other supporters include Accel, which led the start-up series A in 2018, Afore Capital and NextGen Venture Partners.
The startup focus has shifted quite a bit since its first YC debut, when it announced a service called Visor that would analyze video of esports games and train users on how to improve performance. The company has apparently shifted its focus entirely to community tools to help players find matches and organize tournaments for games like Overwatch on the platform.
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed by Niantic .
In a statement, Niantic claims that the acquisition “strengthens our commitment to the real social as the center of our mission.”
Most of Niantic’s acquisitions of late have focused on augmented reality backend technology, so it’s interesting to see them buy technology that focuses on community organization.
Pokémon GO continues to be Niantic’s cash cow, although the company has not seen the same levels of virus success with subsequent releases where organic growth has not been as easy to obtain. Buying a building community startup tool suggests the company is ready for to bring in some outside technologies to push their own efforts forward as they try to create a broader platform for their AR ambitions and more stand-alone hits.