We’re nearing the tail end of summer and it’s safe to say that the hottest thing this past season was the mobile gaming sensation, Pokémon Go. During the first week of its release, the augmented reality (AR) mobile application sent Nintendo’s stock through the roof and by now, it’s safe to say that this phenomenon is more than a trend – it’s proving to be a mainstay on mobile devices and it’s revolutionizing the way people play games on their smartphones while “on the go.”
If you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go and this is your introduction to the AR mobile gaming sensation, then at the very least, you’ve probably noticed an increase in the number of people loitering around your front yard in the early hours of the morning. Or perhaps you’ve noted an abundance of teens walking aimlessly through your neighborhood park at some obscene time in the middle of the night with glowing smartphones in hand. No, they’re not looking for trouble – they’re likely just chasing the dream of catching Vaporeon or better yet, Kangaskhan, Snorlax or Aerodactyl. Although these names may sound like prescription medications, in all actuality, they’re some of the rarest Pokémon Go creatures the app has to offer.
The beauty of Pokémon Go lies in how it leverages the power of augmented reality and geolocation technologies to create an extremely fun and absolutely addictive game that motivates users to get up, get out, and explore the world! In essence, your goal in the app is to catch all the Pokémon characters, which falls perfectly in line with the Pokémon franchise’s motto, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.”
So with the massive success of Pokémon Go and its impressive use emerging technologies in mind, the million dollar question is, what’s next for mobile gaming? A reasonable guess is to anticipate a mobile AR gaming boom. So, if this forecast is correct, you can expect to see some iterations of the following mobile gaming concepts in the coming years. And if any of these games are teamed up with a well-known brand, then there’s a good chance you’ll see another monetary homerun akin to what Nintendo is experiencing with Pokémon Go.
So without further ado, here are 5 augmented reality mobile gaming predictions based on the success of Pokémon Go:
- The Zombie Game Outbreak!
One can only imagine what the local park will look like after someone releases a zombie game that goes viral. Picture gamers throughout your city, walking down the street, swinging and waving their cell phones in the air with the intention of talking out zombies during the zombie apocalypse. To the innocent bystander, this could be absolutely hilarious to watch, whether you are aware of what’s going on or not! And think about how popular a zombie game would be if it were matched up with a big name zombie hit – we’re looking right at you AMC Networks (see: The Walking Dead)!
- Capture the Flag
This mobile AR spin on the traditional “smartphoneless” outdoor game has the potential to be a ton of fun and could include games with a set number of teams or an overall open game that would include everyone’s flags from everywhere, across the globe. For example, in a team vs. team game, users from each team would hide their set number of flags and thereafter, would venture off into the world to locate and capture the other team’s flags. You could also incorporate the idea of knocking out opposing team members via a variety of “items” that are planted by the game throughout the world (ex. laser gun, bow and arrow, slingshot, etc.). The really neat thing about the idea of an open world capture the flag mode is that you could capture flags while traveling to other countries. So much like Pokémon Go, this type of game offers the ability to play the app anywhere at any time! Who needs sleep anyways?
With the ability to set up a virtual net at any location, an AR tennis mobile application has the potential to be an instant hit! The prediction here is that this app could be played one-on-one or in a single player/player vs. computer (AI opponent) scenario. In the player vs. player mode, gamers would simply use their mobile devices as tennis racquets, while the application supplies the net and ball. In the single player game, users would square off against an app-generated, virtual opponent. And if an app like this came fully branded by the International Tennis Federation with the rights to use the names and likeness of their professional athletes, then there’s a big chance a game like this could be a grand slam win for the video game development company that releases the application. Who wouldn’t want to play AR tennis on their smartphone against the likes of Roger Federer or Serena Williams?
- Sims + Kardashians App = The Greatest Revenue Generating Data-Mining App Ever!
The idea behind this app is that you build up “scene points/cred” by completing a variety of tasks with your super-cool, hip and happenin’ Sims character. Throughout the game, you encounter virtual people and then potentially foster relationships with them for whatever future gain. For instance, you could make virtual friends and socialize at virtual events, you could go out for the evening with your virtual family, you could make business acquaintances, and even start relationships with virtual boyfriends and girlfriends. And then perhaps even host a Sims wedding and become the world’s next virtual couple – can you say “creeeeeeeeeepy!?” The data-mining part of the application would come into play when the user is asked real life personal questions by “interested” virtual people. What makes this mobile gaming app a potential cash cow is that if players have the option to purchase clothes, items, entry to events, etc. via actual money (as opposed to using virtual money earned from completing tasks), then much like Kardashians apps, you can expect to see gamers lining up in droves to offer up their credit card information – can you say, “Cha-Ching!”
- Super Mario Bros.
Have you ever dreamed of running around your neighborhood dressed up like Mario, whist jumping on goombas, throwing fireballs and leaping in the air to hit coin boxes? If so, then a Super Mario Bros. AR mobile app is the perfect game for you! Think about it this way: With emerging tech like augmented reality, coupled with the recent advances in mobile motion detection software, this fantasy could become a reality in the not too distant future! If you’d like to get an idea of what a Mario Bros. augmented reality mobile game may look like, there are a number of user-created concepts that have been posted to YouTube over the past few years that will either whet your appetite or leave you craving a real-life mobile version of the game. Fret not Mario enthusiasts! If there’s anything that’s a sure bet in this list, it’s that you can expect to see a Nintendo release of an AR/geolocation-enabled, Mario Bros. themed mobile application. And when that app is released, you can almost guarantee that it’s destined to take over the world!
Pokémon Go Is Just the Beginning of the Mobile AR Boom
If this summer has proved anything, it’s that the mobile gaming world craves games like Pokémon Go, which, with the use of augmented reality and geolocation technologies, successfully marry the concept of playing video games with the act of exploring the outside world. The future of Mobile AR gaming seems as bright as ever and once again, Nintendo has set the bar for the rest of the world. Game on!
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