Game Changer: Augmented Reality’s Impact On The Gaming Industry

Level up your gaming experience with augmented reality: increased engagement, improved social interactions, and user-generated content are just some of the benefits of using AR in the gaming industry – both to spice up the advertising and enrich the gaming experience.

With digital content as its main product, the gaming industry is one of the best fields to benefit from various high-tech inventions. One of them, bringing a wide range of advantages for the users, is Augmented Reality. AR allows players to explore virtual realms through the screens of their smartphones or headsets, engage in challenges, and connect with other users.

Whether you play video games on mobile devices and MR/VR headsets or prefer multiplayer games on your console, technologies such as AR can create unique and exciting opportunities for immersive gameplay.

AR-Based Mobile Gaming

The trend of augmented reality games accessible through mobile devices came alive in 2016 with the launch of Niantic’s iconic Pokémon GO. The AR game quickly gained popularity, and soon, people from all over the world explored their real-world environment with mobile phones in hand, searching for their favorite virtual characters.

The game became a source of social gaming, encouraging users to talk and interact with each other on their digital hunt.

Based on Pokémon GO’s success, developers tried integrating the same solutions with other franchises, such as Harry Potter or Jurassic World. For example, Wizards Unite by Niantic allowed mobile users to become real-life wizards, learn spells and discover mysterious artifacts known from the series.

Because such games are based in the real world, players can enjoy the impression of ‘reality in gaming’, requiring real-life actions to unlock the in-game prizes.

While Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is no longer available, its immersive format was widely appreciated by the fanbase, still waiting for their chance to join the famous Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Meanwhile, Jurassic World: Alive was launched by Ludia in 2018 and is still available for players to enjoy the immersive gaming experience. The game allows users to explore, level up, collect, create, battle, and earn rewards, all in a digital world filled with 3D models of beloved dinosaurs.

Even years after Pokémon GO’s success, the concept of mobile AR games is still alive. Peridot, another App developed by Niantic, connects the idea of its previous AR Games with the famous Tamagotchi. Players interact with their own 3D pets in the natural environment, significantly enhancing the traditional experience. No need to buy a separate device!

Virtual Reality In The Gaming Industry

When we think about VR, most of the time, the first thing that comes to mind is the immersive gaming experience. Unlike AR, VR technologies completely change users’ surroundings, transporting them into the virtual world.

Now, however, with devices like Apple Vision Pro, Meta Quest 3 or Microsoft Hololens on the market (which connects both AR and VR into a mixed reality device), the user gets the ‘best of both worlds’ experience. Players are still aware of their physical environment and can enjoy the digital content in front of them without the smartphone’s screen.

Instead, 3D objects are melted into real-life scenery, inviting interaction and staying present in the physical world.

Additionally, you can simply lie on your couch with your AR glasses on, enjoying the view of your favorite games right in front of you without worrying about additional screens.

Just look at this gameplay of Stardew Valley using Meta Quest 3!

With mixed reality headsets, players can easily enjoy both ways of playing AR games, depending on their current needs.

Gaming promotion strategies with AR

Aside from the gameplay itself, Augmented Reality creates many marketing opportunities for the gaming industry. Especially when it comes to engaging and interactive forms of advertising, such as AR Games. They not only do not require dedicated gaming devices but are also easily accessible through social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok, which most of us already use.

Angry Birds AR Game
by angrybirds

Mario Bros AR Poster
by madebyhumans_

Users are engaged through various AR Filters, allowing them to collect objects, avoid obstacles, or solve puzzles, often based on already existing games, adding a bit of Nostalgia to the experience. Some of the most popular AR Experiences are inspired by the iconic games that were trending years ago, and are still popular now, such as Angry Birds or PacMan, and often are no longer available to play outside the AR Game.

Not to mention that some of the AR Games are based on well-known multiplayer mode games, like Roblox or Minecraft, promoting the product itself. Players can experience a sneak peek of a real game on their mobile devices and later access the full game on computers or consoles.

Read more about AR Games in Marketing here.

But Augmented Reality has more to offer when it comes to the Game Promotion than AR Games! One of the biggest benefits of Augmented Reality is its universal format, which adjusts to the needs of the campaign. That’s why social media users can easily enjoy face masks transforming them into their favorite characters, portals to the virtual worlds known from the screen, or game posters coming alive right in front of them — all based on the digital objects in the user’s surroundings.

COD Satellites
by callofduty

by primevideo

Hogwarts Legacy EN
by busterwood_studio

AR Challenges

A good marketing campaign requires an individual and unique approach to the product, and when we think about Gaming, the right strategy must connect with its base: entertainment and interaction. One of the best ways to merge it with the possibilities of Augmented Reality is to use the idea of AR Challenges.

What does it mean, exactly?

Through the Challenge, Creators from all over the world create interactive AR experiences with the proper branding, allowing users to play with them and share them so their own followers can use the AR filters. Before you know it, hundreds of AR Experiences are circling around the platform, boosting brand recognition with little to no effort.

Kittens Roulette
by n0t1r0nm4n

Cat Bomb Defense

Kitten go
by relax_filter

The Exploding Kittens Effect House Challenge we hosted is the perfect example of such activation. During the challenge, TikTok overflowed with gamified AR Effects with Experiences based on the already-known board game, allowing users to transport the game from the tables to their screens. The challenge amassed over 3000 submissions, reaching thousands of people worldwide.

Read more about the challenge here.

Advantages of Augmented Reality In Gaming

Most of all, Augmented Reality gaming significantly enhances the gameplay experience. Whether it’s RPG, sports games or multiplayer games, Augmented Reality can turn the typical gaming experience into an interactive and immersive adventure.

Looking at the example of Pokémon GO, AR Games can also improve users’ physical health, focusing on exploring the area on foot, or encouraging them to engage in social interactions by meeting with other players on the hunt for famous virtual creatures. Mobile devices are, of course, the base of the game, but what’s happening outside the screen is equally important.

AR in the gaming industry can also significantly boost campaign engagement, impacting the increase of user-generated content. When users see the campaign as something relatable and close to them, they are more eager to share it on their own social media channels, especially when interactive features like AR are involved.

The gaming industry thrives on digital interactions: whether it’s with virtual content or other users, video games are the best way to create an immersive adventure for everyone. It’s easy to say that Augmented Reality will only grow closer to the gaming industry, bringing virtual stories closer to the players.

Contact us, and let’s take your marketing to the next level! 🎮 Visit our Search Engine or the AR Brainstormer for more inspiration for your projects.  👾

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