Augmented reality games are flourishing

Pokémon Go wasn’t a fluke phenomenon. As 83% of global youth aged 14-34 consider gaming important to their life, they’re giving rise to more augmented reality games that blend the online and offline worlds. These new titles further demonstrate how gaming can be a positive pursuit, particularly as AR games challenge people to be physically active, which can also boost their mental wellbeing.


Run An Empire combines elements of Pokémon Go and Sim City by challenging players to run, jog, or walk in the real world to claim land that they can customize in the game with buildings and structures. The app, which tracks one’s movement in the background as to not interrupt their exercise, encourages players to be active daily in order to maintain their territory; otherwise, another play can conquer it. The more land one acquires, the more money they earn to further expand. Players can also get closer to building an empire by trying a new route or pushing themselves to travel farther. Run an Empire launched in the UK earlier this summer after a successful Kickstarter campaign and it’s now available globally.


Earlier this month, Sony opened pre-registration for Ghostbusters World, an AR game launching later this year, where players will explore the real world and blast proton packs at ghosts that appear digitally in their physical surroundings. When spotting a ghost, players tap it to enter battle. They can stop at dimension portals to get ammunition for their proton packs, as well as buy more through in-game purchases. Bringing the franchise to life, fans can also team up to take down powerful ghosts in multiplayer raids or opt for a player versus player (PvP) mode, where they face other Ghostbusters around the world.


Within two months of launch, The Walking Dead: Our World has been downloaded over 1.7 million times and reached $8 million in worldwide revenue, demonstrating consumer interest for AR games. Immersing fans in the story of the AMC show, players encounter zombies lurking in real-world streets and can fight them on their own or with friends, while leaving their mark on the map for others to find. Players complete weekly missions, each of which offer specific rewards, and they can collect legendary characters and weapons and rescue survivors to protect their city from the zombie apocalypse.