What Pokémon Go Means for the Future of Mobile Gaming
July 25th, 2016
From Grand Theft Auto to Super Mario Bros., the gaming industry has seen blockbuster games before. You know, the kind that cause people to wait outside for hours in line by their nearest Best Buy, or spend virtually days afterward attempting to master the game.
Pokémon Go could be the next. The free smartphone game has been sending people to the streets to hunt and capture their favorite Pokémon in various locations. Pokémon Go’s reach, however, extends far beyond enamoring players with their favorite Pokémon. As millennials, we grew up with the Japanese game in the ‘90s. Today, we’re even more excited to dive back into the depths of nostalgia. The mobile game has become the top grossing app in the past week, skyrocketing Nintendo’s market capitalization by 9 billion.
The proof is in the pudding (or the reactions of people across the world). International attention has been received with other countries anxiously waiting for a global release, and some businesses are even taking advantage of the enthusiasm of potential gamers. From giving discounts to players on a specific team to state departments creating signs to remind players to stow their phone while driving, Pokémon Go has created quite the uproar. But more importantly, it has grabbed everybody’s attention.
What does that mean for the future of mobile gaming?
Well, it could have an impact on a multitude of things. The app uses simple technologies, such as location tracking and cameras, to encourage gamers to visit public places. Conversely, most gaming is done indoors, with little to no movement or human interaction. Thus, Pokémon Go represents a shift in gaming ideology. It’s a push to be more active—for players to actually explore areas while gaming.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the technology being presented in this booming new app. AR is essentially computer-generated graphics, sound, and video in the real world. In other words, our perspective of the real world is digitally-altered. The key component separating AR orientated games from others is the active involvement. Pokémon Go players have been teaming up with other players, as well as interacting with the people they meet and the places they visit.
Just as most industries, the gaming industry is a billion-dollar industry that is constantly evolving, especially with progressing technologically. As it continues to advance, so will the games and experiences that are produced from playing. With the rapid commercial and financial success of Pokémon Go, AR games could become more commonplace. As popularity increases, so will demand for similar or consecutive games. Pokémon Go is only the beginning.