Believe it or not, it's been well over three years since we were all first exposed to Pokémon GO. It was a game that took the world by storm unlike any other that has come before it, and anything which has been released since. Although the initial hype surrounding Pokémon GO has died down, you'd be wrong to think the game has faded away into obscurity. Earlier this year, the app was downloaded for the billionth time. Incredible.
Pokémon GO was a game unlike anything that had come before when it was first released in 2016. Niantic saw an opportunity to take advantage of smartphone technology in a very innovative way. To pair its game up with our GPS and bring Pokémon to the world in which we live via augmented reality. It allowed us to live out our dreams of hunting for Pokémon in the real world, something that used to be confined to our consoles.
When something becomes as big and successful as Pokémon GO, others are going to try and piggyback off of it. It isn't as if Niantic owns the rights to AR, obviously, so others began to create their own worlds to place within our own - to give us other reasons to venture out of the house, phone in hand. Different things to find, to track down... it all became a little too much.
If you played Pokémon GO for longer than that first couple of months, you'll know that in order to be good at the game, you need to invest time. Eventually, the only Pokémon you come across in the wild will be ones you've already caught 50 of. That's when the grind really begins. When the work needs to be put in to hatch those eggs and complete those research tasks. Simply put, if we want to be good at Pokémon GO, we don't have time for another AR game in our lives.
Wizards Unite, Men In Black: Global Invasion, Ingress, Minecraft Earth. Developers and franchises are jumping on the AR bandwagon left and right. The best example that people don't have the time for another AR game alongside Pokémon GO is Wizards Unite. A game set within the Harry Potter universe developed by the same people who brought you Pokémon GO, Wizards Unite was downloaded 400,000 times on its first day. Pretty impressive until you learn Pokémon GO hit 7.5 million downloads on day one.
Above all else, no other franchise that has stepped into the world of AR is as conducive to the format as Pokémon GO. The whole premise of Pokémon games is for the player to go out into a fictional world and catch Pokémon. AR and Pokémon GO allows us to go out into the real world and do so. It makes perfect sense. Other franchises aren't as snug of a fit and, to be honest, feel a little forced.
Considering how much success Pokémon GO continues to enjoy, we don't expect the game to go anywhere soon. Its AR rivals, on the other hand, likely won't last the test of time. Those who play Pokémon GO will continue to do so and like us, probably won't have the time for newer AR games. New entrants into the AR arena will have a choice to make, and let's be honest, chances are they will end up picking Pokémon GO.