Niantic’s hit mobile game Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm. In the 18 or so months that it has been available, Pokemon GO has made over $1 billion and it has also renewed the interest in AR (augmented reality) games which use a smartphone camera to interact and find fun in the world around us. Because of that interest, plenty of developers and major entertainment brands have gotten in on the AR gaming scene.
The latest big brand to get in on the AR mobile game trend is Ghostbusters. Today, Sony Pictures Entertainment Consumer Products, Ghost World, and publisher FourThirtyThree Inc. announced Ghostbusters World which is described as an “all-new state-of-the-art augmented reality game.”
A teaser trailer and the accompanying blurb seem to suggest that the game will just be Pokemon GO with ghosts: “Gameplay will enable players to battle and capture hundreds of ghosts from all dimensions of the franchise, including the films, TV shows, comic books, theme parks, and video game.” New and unique ghosts not seen in the franchise before will also be featured.
The official description of the game also confirms that there will be “skill-based gameplay” and “other exciting features” which have yet to be announced. These could play a huge factor in distinguishing the game from Pokemon GO because right now, the two games do sound incredibly similar and are likely to compete for the interest of a similar audience. Fans will especially be hoping that Ghostbusters World includes some kind of PvP gameplay as Pokemon GO PvP features have been teased for quite some time but have yet to come to fruition.
Ghostbusters World isn’t the only game that has tried to cash in on the AR gaming trend. Other examples include Garfield GO, which promised fast food coupons for playing, and there was also Sharknado: ShARkmented Reality, which was a pun-worthy Shark Week tie-in that let players fight a variety of sharks. There have even been new IPs such as Draconius GO which drew interest for arguably doing several gameplay features better than Pokemon GO does.
Clearly, the AR gaming market – particularly games about catching and collecting certain characters – is incredibly crowded and Pokemon GO isn’t the only competition that Ghostbusters World will face when it releases later this year. The Ghostbusters brand recognition will increase its chances of success considerably but Sony, FourThirtyThree, and Ghost World will have to show more of the game to see how it will stand out.
Ghostbusters World will be released in 2018 on Android and iOS devices.