ARKit and the evolution of mobile gaming

Apple’s “Let’s Meet at Our Place” event is happening on September 12th. It's the first ever Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theatre, and along with all the excitement about the next iPhones is the anticipated public release of iOS 11, which will see augmented reality (AR) apps become available for about 500 million iPhones over the next 12 months.

The widespread availability of AR capable iOS devices means that mobile game creators know players will have powerful AR capabilities in their pockets. This new technology, combined with its wide reach means that it has the potential to change the way we think about mobile games altogether.


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What ARKit means for mobile games

Most of what we’ve seen on the horizon so far amounts to demos and concepts, including Wingnut AR's jaw-dropping WWDC 2017 demo:

As for bonafide game releases, less is on the horizon. There's a new Walking Dead game The Walking Dead: Our World, and Pokémon Go which also showed off its new ARKit potential (no more Pokémon hovering in mid-air? 🤞) at WWDC 2017.

Beyond the more notable titles adopting ARKit, we've also seen some great ARKit related content produced by indie developers and content creators: everything from ARKit demos, to specific ARKit game making tutorials, to ARKit basic concepts tutorials.

We've also seen a garage transformed into a tropical rainforest that's open for exploration, and even includes a ball-chasing gecko to keep you company:

...and another table being transformed into a playing surface:

The future of AR mobile gaming is unknown – but exciting!

AR is about to enter a period of rapid evolution. Pokémon Go was one of the first major mobile games to feature AR prominently – AR being a big part of the hype surrounding it at launch. Even though it popularized AR for the mainstream, the AR itself still felt like it was scratching the surface of its full potential.

Going forward though, we're likely to see more polished, functional, and fully 3D AR that's made possible with ARKit and ARCore, as opposed to the 2D, flat overlays that Pokémon Go used when it first launched back in mid-2016.

But what happens next is up to all those who put in the work of making the games we love to play; and here at PlaytestCloud, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this new and exciting technology.

Working on an AR game? Do you want real player feedback?

Reach out to us directly for more information on playtesting your AR game through PlaytestCloud.

Header image screen capture is of Wingnut AR's ARKit demo, courtesy of Cartoon Brew and Ian Failes.

Dillon Cleaver

Content Writer at PlaytestCloud. Currently playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Berlin, Germany

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