Like it or not, Pokemon Go is on its way to being this year's most popular app, and it has brought the franchise to more people than any mainline-series game ever has. Since it's now the top app on the Apple store and seems likely to stay there, there's no doubt that Pokemon Go will spawn plenty of imitators. Here's a look at five existing franchises that could benefit from a Pokemon Go style augmented reality app.
If the game's already about human augmentation, why not augment reality as well? All joking aside, the story and lore of the Deus Ex franchise has always been about shady conspiracies, corporations with hidden agendas, and covert operations, and bringing that into the real world could make for an amazing experience. Imagine a social game like Pokemon Go, but with a cyberpunk backdrop and gameplay based on uncovering intel for your mysterious backers. This could be the perfect game for conspiracy theorists, giving them a chance to live out their crazy fantasies.
Bethesda RPGs are all about going on a long journey and discovering new areas, and the Fallout franchise in particular does a great job of showing the player a ruined version of America. As someone who spends a lot of time in and around Boston, it's cool (and frightening) to see the ruins of a city you know so well. While Fallout is no stranger to mobile games, it would be a lot of fun to see a game about building bases in real life. Like Fallout 4, you could scavenge for materials at nearby landmarks and use them to build your base or go out and claim another for your faction, be it Caesar's Legion, the Enclave, or the Brotherhood of Steel. Just so long as I don't keep getting notifications that "another settlement needs my help," I'm down.
If you (like most people, I presume) haven't heard of The Black Watchmen, I'm really sorry for the amount of time you're about to lose playing this. The Black Watchmen is an Alternate Reality Game, the other kind of ARG, where you take on the role of a government operative dealing with the illegal, paranormal, and otherwise spooky. While the game already bleeds over into the real world quite a lot, tasking the player with editing photos, going to real world locations like payphones and parks, and even dispatching "agents" to follow them if they get too close to the answers, an app that lets them go places to collect intel could help make this game a little easier for the average person to get into.
While there is a Dark Souls mobile game, it's really not worth your time. Another series about exploration and challenge, this could be a more difficult version of Pokemon Go, where the Pokemon are replaced with killer monsters that you have to fight for your life against. Replace the stops with bonfires, and you've got a social game for the hardcore crowd.
For all the gripes people had about Sword Art Online, it was a neat concept with a lot of potential for interesting gameplay, potential that's still relatively unexplored. An MMO that merges with real life, however, could be a lot of fun. Players could go and do raids in real life, meeting in groups to take on bosses on their smart phones. Given how MMOs are primarily social games, and Pokemon Go has done a great job of bringing people together in finding and catching Pokemon, an AR MMO could be a great opportunity.
What games would you like to see as AR games? Let us know in the comments!