Pokémon Go wins best mobile game at Game Awards 2016: What does this mean for AR gaming?
The annual Game Awards, the Oscars of the gaming industry was first conceived 3 years ago, in 2014 to reward outstanding achievements in the field of gaming. This year the competition was thick with biggies such as Overwatch, Doom, Titan Fall 2 and Pokémon Go competing across categories.
Los Angeles played host to the Game Awards 2016 just last week and it was a night for celebration at Niantic HQ. Their Augmented Reality hit Pokémon Go won the ‘best mobile game’ as well as best ‘Family game’ beating acclaimed titles like Fire Emblem Fates, Ratchet & Clank, Clash of Clans and Severed.
Pokémon Go beat all records for mobile gaming and has drummed up close to 500+ million downloads with over 20+ million daily active users since its launch in July. The virality achieved by the game was largely due to the Pokémon IP but it was also a proof of concept for AR at large. The Game Award for best mobile game cements the place of AR in mobile gaming and opens up the market for other games in the space.
The award for ‘Best Family Game’ speaks of the power of AR to be a fun experience across ages and demographics. The simplistic mechanics of Pokémon Go were panned by critics and received a lot of flak, however, it was truly a watershed moment for Augmented Reality games as it took the concept from the realm of futuristic tech to their everyday smartphones.
The Mobile format has proved to be most compatible with AR games as it has an easy plug and play accessibility without the barriers to entry of conventional AR headsets or controllers. The location-based game mechanic of Pokémon Go also proved to be a big hit as it got millions of gamers off their couch into the real world. Gamers across the world are now bitten by the AR bug and are eagerly awaiting the next big title in the space.