Technology has changed almost every aspect of our lives and how we do things. Even the business world is taking a new turn, especially with the introduction of user-focused technology. The gaming industry is not also left out in the technological revolution. The growth witnessed in the industry cannot be isolated from the increasing number of smartphone users who spend ample time exploring emerging gaming technologies and playing their favorite games.
One of the fast-growing trends in not only the gaming industry but also technological industries is Augmented Reality (AR). This is not the same as Virtual Reality (VR). AR encompasses gaming elements – visuals and audio content – that help gamers to get immersed in their interaction with an existing digital environment. In simpler terms, gamers have a real-time experience when playing an AR-based game.
The augmented reality gaming has been projected to reach almost $285 billion in value by 2023. This may not be unconnected with the adoption of the technology in other industries such as healthcare, education, e-commerce, marketing, retail, military, automotive, tourism, entertainment, among others. The biggest casino websites are most likely to be the first to integrate the new technology into their games. The iGaming industry, for instance, has proven to be an early adopter of new technologies.
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This piece of the article explores how AR technology is rapidly changing the gaming industry.
Creation of a more appealing experience to gamers
The fact that AR provides a real-life gaming experience makes an AR-based game more appealing to gamers using computer-generated objects which are then implemented to give an engaging and thrilling experience. The advanced technology appeals to the senses of gamers by delivering to them a lasting experience.
It integrates an addictive feature that makes millions of gamers become obsessive. This has led game companies to engage their creative skills in developing more interactive games, thus growing the overall gaming market.
Selecting a better console isn’t as easy as you think, especially in the rapidly transforming industry. The introduction of AR led to increased opportunities for game developers to develop multiple options that can help improve the vision and imagination of obsessive gamers. However, enjoying the technology isn’t as cheap as VR games. This is because it requires huge investment in a lot of tools, including headsets, hand controllers, sensor-equipped gloves, HUDs (heads up display), telepresence equipment, among others.
Better replacement of traditional gaming
With the adoption of AR, there are unlimited possibilities in the gaming industry. For instance, traditional gaming systems such as Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation have been replaced with new techniques and trends. AR games are written in special 3D programs that allow users to progress to the next level by acquiring experience points. This is often common with role-playing games.
You might be familiar with 3D movies as they are not a new concept. However, many viewers have been turned off from the technology as a result of its high-cost implication. With its popularity in the movie ‘Avatar’ and adoption in the gaming industry where players are provided 3D effects to get an interesting experience, AR has changed the way users perceive animated 3D content.
Technologies used to build AR games
AR game development process has witnessed different levels of innovation and creativity that beats users’ imagination. Many game development companies have adopted the technology, giving the fact that it constitutes the latest trends in the gaming industry. Technologies such as Unity 5, ARPA, Wikitude, XCode 7, and Vuforia are adopted in building AR-based games.
Of course, AR games are designed for a wide variety of platforms. The real game-changer is its success in enhancing user experience by blurring the line between reality and computer-generated effects.
Examples of AR games
Developed by San Francisco-based company, Niantic, in partnership with Nintendo, it has remained the best AR game. It involves catching Pokémon and using them to battle some hotspots in the real world, and then exerting dominance on other users. The immersive feature of the game has made many drivers lose concentration and focus while driving, thus putting many people in great danger. Nevertheless, the game continued to get an increasing number of downloads. For instance, as of February 2019, the total downloads amounted to 1 billion.
Ingress was released two years before Pokémon GO. The game which is set in a mix of sci-fi and cyberpunk allows players to interact with ‘portals’ using their mobile GPS. This enables them to earn action and experience points. Subsequently, there arise two factions: one that adopts alien technology; and another that opposes it, thus maintaining humanity. The former is referred to as the Enlightened while the latter is known as the Resistance. The game emphasizes the need for teamwork and building social relationships.
It is a story-driven AR game developed by Six to Start, British game developers. Players listen to stories about a zombie outbreak. They are then integrated as proactive members, collecting valuable items for survival while also assisting others to get past the zombies. Since the central part of the game has to do with running, it became a popular health and fitness app.
Gaming is an ever-evolving frontier. Beyond the storylines, graphics, or audio content, there is the need to determine if it is a first-person shooter or a role-playing game. It thus requires that developers become more creative to create more enjoyable games. However, with the aid of technology, the industry continues to witness more innovative ideas of which Augmented Reality (AR) is an essential part.
North America has been projected to emerge as a leader of the gaming business within the AR market. With evolving technological innovation and disposable income of consumers as major drivers of the market growth, many companies are beginning to invest massively in it. Some of such companies include Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Sony.