Although most of us can probably see that Pokemon GO was kind of a flash in the pan/perfect storm situation, that won’t stop other companies continuing to chase the AR hype train.
Of course, this includes Pokemon GO developer Niantic itself, as the company CEO John Hanke recently told Game Informer (via GameSpot), that he has some other projects currently in the works.
What most people won’t be aware of is that Pokemon GO was actually Niantic’s second dip into the waters of Augmented Reality – the company’s first effort was a title called Ingress.
Like Pokemon GO, Ingress used real world locations to enhance the experience, but no Pokemon were involved so not that many people cared. However, Pokemon GO did use a lot of the data collected by Ingress.
That’s always been our strategy to build up a platform underneath a game that can be used for other games, and frankly other experiences that may not exactly be games, but are still within that area of exercise, discovery, and social interaction. The Niantic platform is very much a part of our long-term vision and we have some projects that are in the early stages now that will be built on top of it so you can definitely expect to see that from us in the future.
Hanke also suggested that he welcomes other companies in the scramble to replicated the success of Pokemon GO. According to him, it’s healthy, and there’s plenty of room for multiple success stories.
I think it is a really fresh area for game designers, developers, and publishers to explore with new kinds of gameplay. It’s an area where there can still be a ton of innovation. It’s a positive step for everyone to bring games out into the real word and give people the motivation, the excuse, to get out, get some exercise, see new places, and hopefully have good healthy interactions with other human beings.
Finally, Hanke reiterated that there’s plenty more new content to come for Pokemon GO, including an upcoming buddy system which helps players earn rewards.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.