It is undeniable that the introduction of Pokemon Go has been an international success story. From Manchester to Malaysia, childhood fantasies of becoming the very best are being lived in a way that the traditional Pokemon games could never hope to achieve, and it is this enthusiasm that should excite fans of augmented reality everywhere.
Even for those who know relatively little about gaming, there is a feeling that Pokemon Go is very different from the type of game they have become accustomed to seeing. The best example I can think of this is my mother. As someone who has never played a pokemon game in her life, she recently downloaded Pokemon Go to see what all the fuss was about. A few days later and I still think she doesn’t quite understands it, but she still gets excited about catching a Pidgey and she still enjoys seeing the pokemon appear on her camera. Because of this, she is still playing.
This shouldn’t be underestimated. Getting the generation who grew up without video game consoles to play something other than Tetris and CandyCrush has long been a headache for developers, and Pokemon Go offers the beginning of a solution to this issue. Interactivity with the outside world, combined with simplistic yet satisfying controls, allows for this generation to get involved. More importantly, they want to get involved; they have spent the last 20 years bemoaning the fact their children have spent summers locked away playing FIFA or Grand Theft Auto in a small, dark room, and now they see that same child wanting to go on long walks every day, and that sort of enthusiasm is contagious.
Of course there are problems with the game itself. It has had an immensely popular released, but for it to have significant longevity more gameplay must be released, with proper inter-player trading and battling being essential. I hope that this is the case, but for the future of augmented reality gaming it is largely irrelevant. Pokemon Go has proven that there is a large gap in the market for augmented reality, and that there is a vast amount of potential customers to cater to. Any gaming company not licking their lips at the thought of augmented reality is doing it very wrong, and us here at V360 can’t wait to see how they take the concept even further.
That’s it for now, and good luck catching ‘em all!