Featured Imaged by David Grandmougin on Unsplash
First and foremost, if you were not aware, Pokémon GO is a very HUGE deal. With over $2 billion dollars USD in revenues since the launch of the game in the summer of 2016, Niantic still drags in around $2 million dollars USD in revenues on a daily basis thanks to these virtual monsters.
Since then, many mobile game producers have attempted to compete with the Pokémon GO phenomenon. We have seen Jurassic World Alive from Ludia (a Montréal-based company) which was undoubtedly the closest one in popularity to Pokémon GO. We had the pleasure of spending a day with Ludia about a year ago, and we can guarantee that Ludia is a dedicated company with a lot more up its sleeves! The Walking Dead franchise also jumped on the train with Our World from NextGames (a company based in Finland). Later on, the Ghostbusters franchise also joined the party with Ghostbusters World from FourThirtyThree Creative Lab (based in Korea).
Many other games attempted to take on the giant that is Pokémon GO, and in our humble opinion, Jurassic World Alive is without a doubt the only (sort of) competitor to this date to the Pokémon GO game. Competitor in the sense that the game managed to ensure strong and regular revenues (still going strong at the time of writing this article) and that it managed to grow incredibly well in popularity.
A question remains. Will someone ever recreate what Niantic did with Pokémon GO?
What’s on the horizon for AR/Geolocation based games?
Very few games (if any) relying on AR/Geolocation have been announced for the upcoming year(s). Among these games, one of them actually is from Niantic, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (more details here).
More recently, a gaming studio based in Dublin, WarDucks, has announced that they would be releasing a mobile game fitting within that genre of mobile games. Although the company doesn’t see its upcoming game as a competitor, one could easily assume that it may be the next big thing within the genre.
WarDucks is mostly known for its VR Game development on PlayStation VR (Roller Coaster Legends, Roller Coaster Legends II, Sneaky Bears, etc.). If you look at the top 10 VR games PlayStation VR, WarDucks produced two of them!
No details have been shared about the upcoming game they have under the hood, but they certainly have the team and resources (thanks to their recent $3.73 million USD deal with EQT Ventures). We’ll keep you updated on their secret project!
While nothing has been announced from Ludia, we strongly believe that they are without a doubt the best contender when it comes to creating a front row competitor to Pokémon GO.
Considering the success that is Jurassic World Alive, and their partnership with Disney, we would find it hard to believe that Ludia doesn’t have access to what it takes to create the newest AR/Geolocation based major hit game. To compete with Pokémon GO, one would need two things:
- AR/Geolocation experience
- Access to a big franchise
Luckily for Ludia, they have both (although we do not know the specifics of their partnership with Disney). Marvel Superheroes, Star Wars, and Disney characters (Frozen, Toy Story, Zootopia, and so on) are the biggest franchises with AR/Geolocation potential. We challenge anyone to convince us otherwise.
We’re no experienced game developers, but no one can deny the potential of these three franchises for an AR/Geolocation based game. Keep in mind, we have no knowledge of any game being developed by Ludia, this is purely speculative. The fact remains that they have what it takes to create an amazing game that would surely affect Pokémon GO‘s success.
To keep this article as short as possible, let’s give a few examples of what this could translate into:
- Fight Sith Lords/Stormtroopers with your friends in AR anywhere in the world;
- Rid the world of the Jedi Council (if that’s the path you wish to be on);
- Rescue civilians or other members of the Avengers when Thanos and his thugs want to take over your mall;
- Look for Woody’s friends in your park;
- And more!
AR/Geolocation based mobile games allow for excellent opportunities, but it seems like very few game producers opt for this genre. Could it be because of how big Pokémon GO is at the moment or because other producers feel that they are joining the hype train too late? These games have a huge potential for growth and we would be thrilled to see more of them hit the market in 2019. Of course, both aspects (AR and Geolocation) are fairly new in the realm of mobile games, so it could be the reason why some developers decide to play it safe and wait until the genre is steady and more easily available to most developers.
Our take? We really hope that Ludia pushes something huge in this genre in the future. They have proven to be an extremely strong company for AR/Geolocation based mobile games, and we would be thrilled to see them create more games from the genre. The will from WarDucks to enter the market is certainly good news. Seeing a company focusing on VR games making the transition into AR/Geolocation is promising; and we hope to see more companies do the shift.
What are your thoughts? Do you see Pokémon GO ever having a strong competitor? What would a game need in order to take on Pokémon GO? Let us know in the comments!