In 2018 we will see a growing popularity where location-based augmented reality becomes a more standard feature in mobile games thanks to Google recently sharing its location-based technology. Games like Jurassic World Alive, Ghost Busters World, and The Walking Dead: Our World are some of the big names to be published this year. The question is, after Niantic’s huge success with the mobile game Pokémon Go why has it taken so long for the rest of the gaming sphere to catch up?
Niantic Pokémon Go’s developer had quite the reign in 2016 causing grown adults and children alike to wander the streets in search of virtual entertainment. The question, what’s changed since then that has made it possible for new developers to gain their footing in this new gaming environment.
Pokémon Go Break Barriers
Pokémon Go is notable as one of the most successful games of all time due to its overwhelming success and popularity. The game’s combination of AR technology and location data was incredibly innovative for its time giving its users a truly immersive and realistic experience. Accurate location gaming data and partnerships with sponsored locations also made Pokémon Go extremely profitable for Niantic, a trait that undoubtedly many other developers will try and replicate.
Google’s New Developments
John Hanke having had experience in previously leading Google’s Geo Division, where he had a hand in developing Google Maps, Earth and Street View first introduced the idea of Pokémon Go and helped use Googles Technology to make AR experiences a reality. Through Pokémon Go’s predecessors, Niantic has been able to master location-based data making Pokémon Go’s software very difficult to replicate by its competitors; however, that hasn’t stopped people the competition from trying as more and more publishers are set to follow Pokémon Go’s footsteps.
At this year’s annual GDC Google showcased their plans to open their map services to game developers due to a planned expansion to Google maps API. The new big names in mobile gaming have also announced that they will utilize Google’s resources and implement new features in their games using Google’s mapping software. Jurassic World Alive, Ghost Busters World, and The Walking Dead: Our World also has come out and announced they will be using these features provided by Google.
These new big names will use Google’s servers to increase accessibility, an accessory that will ease the game’s development and help make emersion of the AR Technology possible. The servers will also aid in launch stability which is a common setback that typically plagues games in the early months of access.
With API at their disposal, a door has been opened for other gaming developers that will help them implement many new and exciting features in the future.
The Future of AR Mobile Gaming.
After the implementation of new tech, the question remains. Will these new titles surpass Pokémon Go? It’s hard to say considering Niantic’s huge head start as well as the huge phenomime that is the Pokémon series aiding in Pokémon Go’s success. Pokémon Go had the enormous player rate of hundreds of millions of people at its peak that future developers should be thankful for regardless on if new similar games that do not quite reach the heights of Pokémon Go’s success.
Thanks to Niantic’s Innovation and pioneering into new realms of technology, a whole new market for new developers and software is available. Google has also announced that they will be further developing the AR software. This announcement should bring even more of an explosion in gameplay innovations and AR tech popularity making the future for AR games very bright.