When a game makes $600 million just three months after going live, you know it’s a game- changer.
When Niantic and Nintendo teamed up to release Pokémon Go on in July 2016, it not only became a commercial success but a marker for the next era of gaming. With augmented reality (AR) forming the foundation of the iOS and Android game, players were given a first-hand look at the next generation in gaming.
Indeed, one of Pokémon Go’s major selling points is that the AR allows us to tap into our hardwired desire to collect things. By stitching together the real and the virtual into a seamless tapestry, players get the sense they’re actually picking up real things (i.e. monsters) as they roam the streets. AR has allowed developers like Niantic to target our innate desire to explore and discover like never before. In fact, that’s evident from the ongoing updates. Generations of new characters have been introduced to the game since launch, something which essentially gave players even more reasons to hunt for Pokémon.
Entering the World of Dinosaurs in a New Way
Off the back of Pokémon Go’s success, the world at large has not only embraced AR, so too have software companies. As David Jagneux of Venture Beat wrote in March 2018, the trend among gaming companies is to now “take X thing and make it like Pokémon Go.” Despite being slightly facetious, Jagneux has a point.
Jurassic World Alive is the next big location-based AR offering looking to repeat the success of Pokémon Go. Developed by Ludia, Jurassic World Alive is available on iOS and Android devices, and this official Jurassic Park spin-off sees players join the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG). Tasked with saving dinosaurs by hunting for them in your local area, the game is essentially Pokémon Go, but with giant reptiles. Of course, the “Jurassic” franchise has had a long history in the gaming world. Ever since Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment released the original Jurassic Park movie in 1993, game developers have taken the story in a multitude of different directions. If it’s not Telltale Games’ all-out action or the Jurassic World Evolution game, it’s the Lego adventure where you “smash ‘n’ build” your way through various levels.
Put simply, Jurassic Park and games have a long and, for the most part, fruitful history. Based on that alone, Jurassic World Alive should be a hit.
However, the fact Ludia has taken the game into the AR arena should give it a unique edge and, moreover, position the franchise in the middle of the latest tech trend. When you look at the biggest companies in the world, almost all of them have embraced AR in the last two years.
With data suggesting that AR revenue will top $209.2 billion by 2022, Google, Facebook, Amazon and more are already on the bandwagon. In fact, it’s this ability to identify a trend and seize opportunities that’s allowed Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos to become billionaires. Of course, Zuckerberg is the most obvious example of how tech can turn millionaires into billionaires. According to Betway Casino’s breakdown of the world’s wealthiest, Zuckerberg turned his first $1 million into $1 billion within a year. The Facebook founder has always been an early adopter of modern tech. When virtual reality (VR) was starting to emerge in 2014, Zuckerberg purchased Oculus Rift for $1 billion. Since then, the Facebook AR studio has become a hive of activity, putting out products such as the Messenger camera filter.
AR Bandwagon Pulling Companies and Consumers in New Directions
Like Zuckerberg, Bezos and Amazon have been exploring the potential uses of AR. As well as Amazon Smart Glasses, the company actually filed a patent in 2013 for an AR device. Although it was not much more than an idea at the time, AR has now caught up and could allow Amazon to offer a virtual try-before-you-buy service. Again, by getting in on the ground floor, Bezos will be able to pioneer a new way of buying goods online.
This, in essence, is what Niantic did with Pokémon Go. Embracing AR early allowed it to become a pioneer in the gaming space and serve as the inspiration for products like Jurassic World Alive. Naturally, the success of one product doesn’t ensure the success of another. But based on everything we know about AR-based apps, the latest addition to the Jurassic franchise has a solid chance of making it big.
What will be interesting to note with regards to Jurassic World Alive is whether consumers are as hot on AR as developers. With a monthly subscription feature priced at $9.99, rival companies will be waiting to see whether people will pay for access to these new augmented environments. Whatever direction the market ultimately swings in is yet to be seen. What is clear, however, is that AR is shaping up to be the next big thing and those on the bandwagon stand a good chance of making it big.
Jurassic World Alive can be downloaded from the App Store on iPhone and from the Play Store on Android.