In a new interview with Pokemon GO creator John Hanke, the developer reveals his plan for the future of the game, including some new AR features.

Pokemon GO was one of the first Augmented Reality (AR) games to explode into the mainstream.

We’re sure everyone remembers what it was like back in 2016 when the mobile title launched and it felt like the whole world was full of Pokemon trainers.

But despite Pokemon GO making use of AR to bring creatures into the real world, many players simply turn off the feature altogether.

Lugia in Pokemon GO Augemented Reality AR

So it’s all the more curious that creator John Hanke wants to double down on the game’s Augmented Reality elements.

Pokemon GO to Get New AR Elements

Pokemon GO creator John Hanke states that new features are coming to the game, aiming to enhance the way Pokemon can interact with the real-world environment via AR.

According to an interview with the BBC, Hanke teases that a new AI-powered feature is in development, which should allow Pokemon to be “situated in the environment and respond to things in the environment in a realistic way.”

This new Augmented Reality functionality should be launching next year, which Hanke expects to be a big year for technological advancements.

John Hanke Niantic
Pokemon GO Creator, John Hanke – Credit: Niantic

“2024 is going to be a breakthrough year for AR,” the Pokemon GO creator reports. He also reveals that he’s paying close attention to future ‘mixed reality’ devices, such as the Apple Vision Pro, and the Meta headset lineup.

“Those are the kinds of devices that we’re leaning into,” Hanke confirms. “Because they’re devices you can use when you’re out for a walk and with your friends, and they don’t get in your way.”

Of course, it’ll be a while before the average Pokemon GO player walks around with a headset on.

2023 Pokemon GO Halloween Part 2

But Hanke seems to believe it’ll be how gamers play in the future, stating that phones aren’t a perfect medium, as they’re still ‘distracting.’

Fans Respond to Pokemon GO Augmented Reality Plans

As optimistic as the Pokemon GO creator seems to be about Augmented Reality, it appears that the game’s fan base doesn’t all share his enthusiasm.

“Cool, more functions to turn off,” Reddit user Bacteriophag writes. And that’s a sentiment we’re seeing echoed by a large number of commenters over on the Pokemon GO subreddit.

What’s interesting is that the development team over at Niantic must have access to player stats, showing just how many users turn off AR functionality.

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But Augmented Reality in Pokemon GO is more than just overlaying Pokemon in the real world. It also refers to how the game is played, with real-world locations represented in the Pokemon GO map, as Poke Stop, Gyms or more.

2024 may not be the year we all wear Apple Vision Pros, but that doesn’t mean the technology couldn’t see significant advancements.

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Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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