The Continued Success of Augmented Reality Games and Pokemon Go

August 1, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Entrepreneurs, this is opportunity knocking. Pokemon Go’s rampant, runaway success is demonstrates that the time for AR and VR apps is NOW; not in a few months, not tomorrow. Today, this very instant.

With any tech project these days, there’s always the concern that it’s just a flash in the pan. Take one of Facebook’s earliest forays into game apps – hugely successful in the beginning, but hardly a continued sustained, product.

But Pokemon Go smashed records right from the get go, from nearly surpassing Twitter’s Daily Active Users to adding $9 billion to Nintendo’s net worth. In a single week, this AR game app was downloaded more times than any other app in Apple history.

But just a month later, this game is continuing to overtake industry giants and stun tech market analysts around the world. Did you know Tinder just passed 100 million downloads? It was big news and a huge milestone. Not to mention that it only took 4 years – pretty impressive really.

Pokemon Go blew past 75 million downloads in 19 days. Most experts agree that the app will surpass 100 million downloads in less than 2 months. Heck, if the downloads increase as they have since its release, it will take far less than that!

But we’ve talked about all this already. We’ve even talked about some ways to make money off of freemium apps. Why are we rehashing it?

A couple of reasons: first, we want to talk about the Augmented and Virtual Reality app market more. It really is perched to take the world by storm, changing the world of enterprise and commerce in more dramatic ways than apps themselves.

Secondly, Niantic (the company that built Pokemon Go) has some really clever revenue generation plans and some clever, forward-thinking strategies. We wanted to discuss these methods and how we can help apply them to help your app company make more money.

Game Apps and the Future of AR/VR

If Pokemon Go has proven anything, it’s that people love to play games – apparently more than they like hooking up! And look, we’re unrepentant capitalists: we like making money and we like when our clients make money.

So in keeping with that philosophy, we go where the money is. Right now, the VR and AR movement is being propelled by the gaming industry. This is unsurprising to the student of history; after all, the console and PC game industry has been a driving force behind all sorts of industries:

Graphics processing: You like your big screen TV with its oh so purty pictures? Thank Console companies like PlayStation.

Memory Storage: As games became more complex, the video game industry had to come up with new ways of storing large amounts of data.

User Interface: The first step to a successful game? An interface that makes sense. Games make money when people want to play them (duh) and game companies had to create ways of developing systems that made sense and we engaging.

Those are just three. This industry has been a money-making force for decades now, growing businesses and creating fortunes. Today, we’re seeing this same influence in game apps for AR and VR. One has to look no further than an app like Pokemon Go than to see the proof in the pudding.

Right now, we’re on the cusp of what promises to be one of the biggest industries the global economy has ever seen. But the weird thing is that it’s a bit like watching water boil: you know it’s going to happen, you can feel it about to happen BUT DEAR GOD WHY WON’T IT HAPPEN ALREADY!

While the suspense is a torment, it’s actually good news for entrepreneurs out there. We all know this will be a growth market, but really Pokemon Go is the only substantial AR game app out there.

Do me a favor and take a look at how many messenger apps you have on your phone. Now just go through and see how many apps you have that do slightly different things, but are essentially the same thing.

That’s the thing about being an ‘Appreneur.’ Apps are low-risk ventures, for both consumers and app owners. Which means people are far more willing to download an app for any reason. AR game apps and VR/AR apps, in general, will soon become ubiquitous.

But right now…well right now it’s basically a giant pile of money calling your name lasciviously. All you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Platforms for Growth and Revenue Generation

One of the biggest questions our sales people get asked is “how do I make money with a freemium app?” And the truth is that yes, there are plenty of options to make oodles of cash off an app. It just requires innovative strategies and out-of-the-box thinking.

So once again we return to our example of Pokemon Go. Niantic is proving their ingenuity once more by expanding their revenue potential not inwards (i.e. in-app purchases, ad banners, etc), but outwards.

Pokemon Plus, a Gadget extension of the app, is a harbinger of the future. Apps going forward won’t just be on one platform. The Holy Grail of running an app business will be to create whole ecosystems.

And the Internet of Things makes this possible. As our species progresses forward to the future, the interconnectivity will only continue to grow. Which is good news for entrepreneurs: the Pokemon Plus Gadget costs 35 bucks!

The good news is you don’t need to go out and build a whole SmartWatch. Our expert developers can make apps for any platform, creating unique features and USPs for each device being used.

The best part is the freemium app trend is what makes app ecosystems profitable. Over 10% of Americans downloaded Pokemon Go for free. Even if only a percentage of those buy Pokemon Plus, that’s millions! With the app, people get hooked. Then comes the money!

Want to get involved in the industry before it’s too late? SDI can build you an AR game app in 6 weeks or less. Give us a call at 408.805.0495 / 408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

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