Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company are having a very good run with Pokemon GO, as earlier this week it was revealed that the said mobile game has already been downloaded more than 500 million times. Although the hype is not what it used to be, and while the player base has lost some numbers throughout the past couple of months or so, Pokemon GO is still a very successful title, and a reference augmented reality mobile game at that. And for those wondering what Niantic might be cooking up next, the answer is more augmented reality games and applications.
GameInformer recently revealed the cover for the upcoming October issue and briefly discussed some of the stories readers should be looking forward to once the magazine is published. Among the stories are an interview with Niantic CEO John Hanke, who spoke with GameInformer in regards to their augmented reality platform and their future plans for other releases. Interestingly enough, it appears that Ingress and Pokemon GO are only the beginning, and the future could bring many more augmented reality-based applications. According to John Hanke in the recent interview, Niantic's strategy has always been to create "a platform underneath a game that can be used for other games, and frankly other experiences that may not exactly be games, but are still within that area of exercise, discovery, and social interaction." For those who may not be aware of this, the company's first attempt to create this platform was Ingress: an augmented reality game whose foundations have been used for creating the Pokemon GO game world. And seeing how Pokemon GO pushed the concept of augmented reality further, there's no question why Niantic wants to bet on this particular formula. "The Niantic platform is very much a part of our long-term vision", said CEO John Hanke, revealing that the company has "some projects that are in the early stages" projects that will apparently be built on top of the so-called Niantic platform.
The CEO also mentioned that the augmented reality genre is likely to continue and grow. "I think it is a really fresh area for game designers, developers, and publishers to explore", allowing for new kinds of gameplay in an "area where there can still be a ton of innovation." No other details have been revealed in regards to Niantic's other projects, but as far as Pokemon GO is concerned, John Hanke confirmed that the game will continue to improve and expand, and will accommodate a "Buddy System" which will allow players to choose a Pokemon as their traveling partners for in-game rewards.