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


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."

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.