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Pokémon GO and What This Means for Unity

By: Joshua Qualls, Informatics Student at Indiana University

I’m sure that you’ve heard about the new app that’s all the rave. If you haven’t and you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, Niantic and The Pokémon Company’s new application, Pokémon GO, is blowing up. According to SurveyMonkey, there are more than 21,000,00 daily users in the United States ALONE.

Pokémon GO is so popular due to many reasons. It’s a Pokémon game and there has been a huge fan base since the beginning, but Pokémon GO’s augmented reality allows players to bring Pokémon to the real world. The game also requires players to be active and very social, with the game based off of your GPS location and features such as gym battles.

Obviously this has been great for Niantic and TPC, but what about Unity?

Unity, the gaming engine that Pokémon GO is built on, is renowned for its ability to support multiple platforms and is very popular among mobile game developers. For example, popular games such as Ori, the Blind Forest and Crossy Road.

So, how have they fared? According to Unity – pretty well.

Unity announced that it had raised a staggering $181 million from investors led by DFJ Growth after the launch of Pokémon GO.

The new funding and success of Pokémon GO also influences existing or new developers to utilize the gaming engine. As of now, Unity estimates that its engine is used in more than 31% of the top 1,000 grossing mobile games, and we can expect to see that number increase over the next few years.

With the popularity of Pokémon GO’s augmented reality, maybe we will begin to see more development within Unity and other game engines to better support augmented and virtual reality games. Especially with the growing popularity of VR platforms such as the Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR.

Interested in learning more about Unity? Register for our next 2-day Unity course here!

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