Reasons why Pokemon Go is still probably the best AR mobile game ever


When Pokemon Go was first unveiled on 6 July 2016, it was one of the most popular mobile AR games of its time. That said, it is unlikely that we’ll be seeing another game that will surpass Pokemon Go’s popularity any time soon.

But why is that? This article will discuss what makes Pokemon Go so popular and why we might not see another game like it that could surpass it. With that all being said, let’s have a closer look, shall we?


What made Pokemon Go so popular in the first place?


Pokemon grandpa riding around town with around 75 phones running Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go was popular because it offered a unique gameplay experience compared to most mobile games available in the market. The game uses the smartphone’s geolocation to track, capture, train wild Pokemons, claim items from Pokestops, and have Pokemon battles at Pokemon Gyms when the players are close to them.

Besides using the phone’s geolocation, the game also uses AR technology to make it seem like Pokemon characters are right in front of you. With that in mind, the game encourages players to physically travel around the map to interact with the world of Pokemon Go.


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You can join raid battles with up to 20 trainers!

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You can take part in gym battles, too!

Another reason why Pokemon Go remains so popular is that the Pokemon games before it had a huge following ever since their first game that was released in 1996. In addition, the animated series had an equally large following. With that in mind, when Pokemon Go was first officially launched in 2016, the game was downloaded more than 10 million times in the first week and reached over a billion downloads by 2019.

Pokemon Go also incorporated several multiplayer in-game events, such as attacking a Pokemon Gym or a Pokemon Raid boss, which require up to 20 players to make the event or raid easier. Because of that, players are more inclined to invite their friends so that they can play together.


There were many games like Pokemon Go afterwards, but none of them came close


Some of the AR games that were released after Pokemon Go

After the release of Pokemon Go, many other AR games were also released, like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, The Witcher: Monster Slayer, The Walking Dead: Our World, and more. However, none of them were as popular or successful compared to Pokemon Go.

To elaborate further, Pokemon Go was so popular that it attracted and convinced non-Pokemon fans to try out the game for themselves. Also, the Pokemon universe isn’t very complicated, and it is also children-friendly, making it a popular multiplayer game to play with and amongst family members.


Why won't we see any other AR game as good as Pokemon Go?

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Another factor as to why we might not see a mobile AR game that could surpass Pokemon Go popularity is because games like it require the player to physically travel from location to location (which might not be possible because of the ongoing pandemic). Developing a location-based game isn’t easy as there are a lot of things to consider.

For example, the game developers have to consider how fast a budget mobile phone will load the game and its GPS accuracy. If the game is not optimised for particular phones, it could give the player either an unfair advantage (as they can interact with objects that are much further away) or they could experience issues that could make the game unplayable (like your phone hanging or freezing). 

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Some phones might have a hard time loading a lot of geographical data quickly

Not only that, but cheaper devices might also have a challenging time loading and storing all of the geographical data and information quickly, which could significantly affect the gameplay experience for the user. Previously, there were also issues like players taking the game too far, such as playing while driving, trespassing onto private property, and there were even a few deaths due to it as well.

Having said all that, the most significant determining factor to an AR game’s success comes down to the franchise’s fanbase. The Pokemon world has not stopped growing as more new Pokemon games, anime and content continue to come without having to rely on Pokemon Go. This makes it even more likely for new Pokemon fans to try out Pokemon Go even though they might have never tried it before.

When Pokemon Go was announced, fans were excited to live their dream of being a Pokemon trainer and since AR games were relatively new, it also drew in many early adopters. Even after celebrating their 5th anniversary, the game shows no significant dip in popularity, mainly because there is no other game like it in the market and for the reasons listed above, it is unlikely that there ever will be.

Still, while we're here, which brand or world do you think would make a good AR game to dethrone Pokemon Go? Digimon? Magic: The Gathering? I for one wouldn't mind trying out a Star Wars mobile AR game if I could do light saber duels or hunt bounties with my real life friends (hint, hint... Disney) but what do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page and for more updates like this, stay tuned to