Today's announcement from the studio hints at its future strategy: find someone else to do it.
The Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest talks up a prize pool of more than $1 million, but the real meat of this "contest" is a brand-new incubator program that seeks to marry nimble, indie teams with Niantic's proprietary "Real World Platform" toolset.
Interested developers need to come up with a team of at least five people with demonstrable experience in Unity and Java Server and send a 10-page pitch document (as opposed to a working prototype).
However, a quick scan of the contest's rules includes no mention of contestants agreeing to any sort of ongoing filmed content as part of the contest (especially since most of the three-month period will be spent in participants' home cities).
Before the $300,000 grand prize (and two $100,000 runner-up prizes) is awarded, 10 finalists will receive travel accommodations for two Bay Area events and a $50,000 "stipend" to work on a pitched prototype for a period of three months.
(Worth noting: if you pitch a project with a team of more than five people, you don't get more money.)