Pokemon GO has been a huge success for its developer, Niantic. The game has already made over $1 billion and has hundreds of millions of users around the world. But Niantic does not want to settle for being a one, or two-trick pony, and so the company is already working on its next game.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco event, Niantic CTO Phil Keslin revealed a technology tidbit about the Pokemon GO developer's next title. Niantic is not a "one-game wonder," said Keslin, suggesting that the new game would make use of audio, as augmented reality technology does not have to be a primarily visual experience. "I think audio is significant. It's one of our senses. It's one of [the] things that really drives us. I want to look at ways to incorporate audio in future titles. AR is not just visual," Keslin explained.
It also sounds as though Niantic would like to limit the amount of time users have to spend looking at their screens while playing AR games, too. Pokemon GO players are not "walking around the world with the phone in front of their face," said Keslin, as "the only time they really use it is to share their encounter with the Pokémon" just to "take one picture."
Given that at least one Pokemon GO player has caused a car accident as a result of staring at their screens, some may refute Keslin's comments that players aren't always looking at their phones. But nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Niantic makes an experience with limited screen use.
Unfortunately, Keslin did not shed much more light on the next Niantic project beyond coyly answering "maybe" when asked if the next game would be released next year. As Niantic is still busy working on Pokemon GO's trading and PvP features, it could well be some time until the next game sees the light of day.
Extra time in the development oven could give Niantic plenty of time to get the new game running smoothly, though. Of course, if the game does have an online requirement, the developer will want to avoid the launch issues that plagued Pokemon GO upon its release.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.