Date
18 December 2017
Gamers play Nintendo’s Pokemon Go in New York. The game’s huge success is expected to inspire copycats. Photo: Bloomberg
Gamers play Nintendo’s Pokemon Go in New York. The game’s huge success is expected to inspire copycats. Photo: Bloomberg

Pokemon Go’s success seen spurring AR tech in mobile games

The wild success of Nintendo’s Pokemon Go smartphone game is expected to inspire other game developers into incorporating augmented reality technology in upcoming titles.

“You’re going to see other developers potentially changing their pipeline to incorporate augmented reality or location-based technology,” Bloomberg News quoted Mike Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, as saying.

“Those plans are probably being put in place right now.”

Olson says he wouldn’t be surprised if Activision Blizzard adds such functionality to its Skylanders game, a role-playing game featuring toys.

Much will depend on whether Pokemon Go’s success endures and whether rival game makers can duplicate the underlying technology, Bloomberg noted.

Pokemon Go, which has become the most downloaded app on both Apple and Android phones, brings together two key features: location-mapping and augmented reality (AR), which overlays a virtual world on the real one.

After downloading the app, players navigate an animated version of Google Maps, searching for Pokemon characters to capture and add to their team.

The technology comes from Niantic, a company founded by Google and spun off last year.

Some analysts see Pokemon Go’s success as a big lift for artificial reality, which has yet to live up its hype.

“This is the first time that there’s mass adoption of an AR application,” Joost van Dreunen, who runs SuperData Research, told Bloomberg.

“This could be the Angry Birds of AR.”

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