Google And Taito Are Creating An AR Space Invaders Game

Space Invaders: World Defense will see pixel aliens invade Earth from another dimension! For the 45th anniversary of the arcade game Space Invaders, Google and the Japanese game developer Taito are teaming up to reinvent the cult classic and bring the iconic aliens into the real world. As part of its Google IO 2023, the company announced the upcoming AR game, which will showcase Google’s newest AR toolset to turn the real world into an intergalactic battleground inspired by the 1978 arcade hit.

Retro aliens are invading Earth from another dimension

Slated for a launch later this summer, Space Invaders: World Defense is a new augmented reality video game that will reboot Taito’s 1978 shoot ’em up arcade game Space Invaders. This time around, the aliens won’t just be invading players’ screens, but will appear in the real world. Similarly to the highly celebrated AR game Pokémon GO by Niantic from 2016, the pixelated aliens will appear within the player’s real-life surroundings via AR. The iconic intergalactic battles will play out in and around buildings, terrain, and landmarks, bringing the arcade classic into a new dimension that will see players use their virtual spaceship to defend their neighborhood and the planet from the Space Invaders.

To create a fully immersive gaming experience that blurs the lines between the physical and digital world, the companies will take advantage of Google’s latest AR toolset. By combining the power of ARCore and the new Geospatial Creator, Space Invaders: World Defense will let 3D renderings appear within the real world through AR while taking location, landmarks, and buildings as well as time and weather into account to create an immersive virtual battleground. Google’s Streetscape Geometry API will allow developers to access the geometry of the surroundings, including buildings, terrains, and other structures, to create a customizable game that changes depending on the player’s location, with world-anchored digital content visible at the same location for all players. The company’s latest AR tools will offer a new and immersive way to play, as the aliens will be able to hide behind buildings or structures or emerge from buildings – something the little monsters in Niantic’s Pokémon GO have not been able to do thus far. Purportedly, even the time of day, as well as the weather, will come into effect, although it hasn’t been confirmed how this will change gameplay.

The arcade classic reinvented

Google’s and Taito’s reinvention of Space Invaders will bring the cult classic into the modern age. It all started 45 years ago on an arcade machine, now the pixelated aliens will transcend their original confines to invade the planet in “real life”. The upcoming AR title, however, is not the only reinvention of the cult classic, as the shoot ‘em up has already inspired a bevy of other games, bringing different versions of the arcade game onto modern devices. Taito created mobile adaptations of the iconic game as well as a reimagination with Space Invaders Infinity Gene, so players can jump into the intergalactic battles on their smartphones. A whole variety of other games available on Google Play have taken inspiration from the original game to bring similar gameplay onto players’ screens. Square Enix even released a mashup of Space Invaders and the arcade game Arkanoid for an inspired, nostalgia-inducing mobile game.

Another genre of classic games has also been inspired by Taito’s arcade game: slot machines. Platforms such as Vegas Slots Online boast a library of thousands of free online slots with a large variety of themes, topics, and worlds. Among them, players can find several slots based on the arcade game. For instance, both Ash Gaming’s and Inspired Entertainment’s slot adaptations of Space Invaders bring the game’s vibrant colors and iconic characters and designs onto the reels of the slots. With creations such as these, players can experience the nostalgia of the arcade game era in a fresh and new way today. The upcoming AR title will (quite literally) take this to a new dimension.

Google and video game developer Taito have teamed up to bring the classic shoot ‘em up arcade game Space Invaders into the real world. Leveraging Google’s latest ARCore AR toolset and the brand-new Geospatial Creator, Space Invaders: World Defense will allow for a unique and immersive gaming experience in AR as players defend their neighborhoods from the invading pixel aliens. The city-scale AR game is set to release later this summer.