Following the unprecedented success of Pokémon Go, which was responsible for the fastest uptake of a new technology in history, new augmented reality (AR) games have been introduced at a rapid rate. However, none have been able to match Pokémon Go for playability, uptake and general consistency around functionality. Many have tried to combine existing characters, while some have chosen to create their own, but the major element that made Pokémon Go such a massive success were the original characters themselves. Pokémon was a multigenerational phenomenon, one that most people – from small children through to parents – at least recognise, if not understand. The result was that when Pokémon Go was released, there was no need to educate the masses as to what the purpose of the game was; catching Pokémon. Anyone could download the game and gain a clear understanding of what they were trying to accomplish within a view short moments. The movements and functionality of the game were also readily apparent; to capture Pokémon, all that is needed is a flick of a finger. So, the missing element for potential Pokémon Go competitors was an easy to understand character base.
Shortly to be released, a new AR game may have cracked this problem. Ghostbusters will be a mobile game built on the premise of the insanely popular movie franchise. Just like Pokémon, the premise is simple – catch ghosts. Users will be alerted to the presence of ghosts, and will then need to aim their mobile device at them in order to catch them. Just like in the movie, you will need to point your gun at the right angle and secure the ghost before it is captured, so there is an (admittedly minimal) amount of skill involved. Just like Pokémon, there will be rare and limited edition ghosts, and some creatures will be native to certain parts of the world.
It’s a clever crossover and one that has the potential to match the popularity of Pokémon Go. A launch date is due to be set at some stage over the next two months, and the game will be available on Android and iOS devices.