Pokemon Go Inspires Blockchain-Based Augmented Reality Games from Tencent, Others
With the release of Detective Pikachu growing in popularity, Pokemon Go is trending once again. Competitors are taking notice.
Some are looking to integrate blockchain-based technology with augmented reality (AR) to gain a comeptive advantage over Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go. One such competitor is Tencent.
Augmented Reality and the Blockchain
Pokemon is, at its core, about collecting.
Decades ago, the franchise had to two major selling points: the Game Boy series and it's trading cards. In both cases, collecting Pokemon was always a core element of the experience.
However, creating collectibles in today's digital world is much more complicated. Trading card sellers are constantly dealing with cases of fraud, sometimes even by the companies themselves. Furthermore, There remains no standardized way to account for scarcity, which is arguably the entire purpose of collectibles.
Recently, Chinese gaming giant Tencent decided to merge this act of collecting with Pokemon Go-inspired exploring—and they're doing it with blockchain technology.
Tencent is essentially merging the augmented reality of Pokemon Go with CryptoKitties. The game is called Let's Hunt Monsters and is currently one of the most-downloaded mobile game in China, a country where Pokemon Go is unavailable due to Google Maps being banned.
Yet, Tencent isn't the only project using blockchain with Pokemon Go.
Augmentors is another AR game which focuses on battling and collecting customizable cyborgs, monsters, and gods. Crypto Hunt is yet another real-world AR game which takes its inspiration from Pokemon Go.
Other examples could be used with many new projects planned for 2019. This exposes a growing tendency to merge AR and the blockchain for interactive and secure virtual experiences in the real world.
Pokemon Go Should Explore New Technologies
Tencent is likely just the beginning of a push towards blockchain-based augmented reality, and it's only a matter of time before these projects are optimized for mobile. Some startups, like Lucyd, are already working on a new generation of augmented reality mobile applications with decentralized platforms.
Because the augmented reality industry is expected to get more crowded in the coming years, Pokemon Go may soon have much more competition.
Some think it would be wise for Pokemon to embrace blockchain technology along with its competitors before losing its competitive advantage.
A good place to start, according to Jack Dossman, would be to tokenize Pokemon cards to ensure their rarity. A simple, trustless, and decentralized platform for Pokemon card trading would likely be a huge hit.