What's next for 'Pokémon Go'? Niantic designer discusses the future of AR games

Source: AP
Source: AP

As if it weren't obvious enough from the boatloads of money Pokémon Go has made so far, the company that makes the augmented reality game, Niantic Labs, is looking to the future. Where else can it apply its winning formula?

Will there be a Pokémon Go 2?

In an interview with the Verge, Dennis Hwang, the director of visual design at Niantic, discussed Niantic's plans for future games. From the sounds of it, Niantic is looking to eventually expand beyond the world of Pokémon.

(Pokémon Go is actually Niantic's second game using an augmented reality-style structure — its first is a hacker-themed game called Ingress.)

"We're looking at lots of projects," Hwang said. "Niantic's strategy is heavily a platform play, so we're not trying to limit ourselves too much to one or two sets of experiences. We want other people to be able to build interesting fictional experiences on top of the real-world-based technology that we've built. So it may not be Niantic that builds it, but we're talking to a lot of interesting partners already."

Niantic Labs is looking to expand beyond the 'Pokémon' franchise for future games.
Source: 
Hau Dinh/AP

At the risk of letting the cat out of the bag, Hwang was careful about choosing his words when discussing Niantic's next games and potential new partnerships.

"It's hard to talk about this, I can't say who... but the Pokémon idea was sort of a shoo-in. You just looked at it and said, 'Oh wow, this makes sense,' the idea of going around the world and seeking out these little creatures to capture and befriend. So without naming specific partners, I think there's a huge space of such opportunities that's still remaining that could hugely benefit from a platform like ours."

So, what other properties tie in seamlessly with an augmented reality-style game? Could we all be playing a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them augmented reality game in the near future? 

It's anyone's guess at this point, but given the success of Pokémon Go, Niantic probably has a lot of companies knocking at its door.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tim Mulkerin

Tim Mulkerin writes about video games for Mic. You can reach him at tim@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Everything you need to know about raids in 'Pokémon Go'

Unsure how to get your foot in the door for 'Pokémon Go' raid battles? Never fear, because we've got all the information you could ever dream of.

8 Kirbys dancing in unison is the best thing you'll watch all week

Kirby is coming to the Nintendo Switch in an untitled new game in 2018, but for now you can get your fix of the lovable pink blob thanks to an incredible video currently making the rounds on Twitter.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller too expensive? Use your PlayStation 4 Dualshock instead.

Finally, a way around Nintendo's overpriced controllers.

July's Xbox Games With Gold lineup includes 'Grow Up' and 'Kane & Lynch 2'

Grow up and rob some banks in this month's free Xbox games.

Your 'Fire Emblem Heroes' characters may get some fun in the sun in a new Summer event soon

Time to get your swim trunks on. Summer is coming to 'Fire Emblem Heroes.'

Everything you need to know about raids in 'Pokémon Go'

Unsure how to get your foot in the door for 'Pokémon Go' raid battles? Never fear, because we've got all the information you could ever dream of.

8 Kirbys dancing in unison is the best thing you'll watch all week

Kirby is coming to the Nintendo Switch in an untitled new game in 2018, but for now you can get your fix of the lovable pink blob thanks to an incredible video currently making the rounds on Twitter.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller too expensive? Use your PlayStation 4 Dualshock instead.

Finally, a way around Nintendo's overpriced controllers.

July's Xbox Games With Gold lineup includes 'Grow Up' and 'Kane & Lynch 2'

Grow up and rob some banks in this month's free Xbox games.

Your 'Fire Emblem Heroes' characters may get some fun in the sun in a new Summer event soon

Time to get your swim trunks on. Summer is coming to 'Fire Emblem Heroes.'