According to one of the most prevalent sources on videogame market information, Superdata Research, Pokémon Go is tainting the public’s perception of augmented reality.
This isn’t to say that Pokémon Go is poorly designed or that people shouldn’t play it. Moreover, the game is making tons of money and its user base is rivaling that of top social media websites.
The idea, however, is that Pokémon Go is not technically AR and that could misrepresent the public on what future AR titles could look like. In order for a game to use AR, it needs to be affected by the real world. Instead, the game simply uses the world as a background, but reality has no effect on the Pokémon themselves nor the Pokéballs.
The only exception is where the Pokémon happen to pop up and the locations of gyms or Poké Stops. However, using real-world locations as digital markers is actually context-aware content and again not true augmented reality.
None of this information truly matters to the everyday consumer, but the fear is that investors will start pulling funding from virtual reality and shift it to augmented reality because of Pokémon Go. There have been past examples of AR, such as Google Effects and the Sony Eye Toy, and it’s important for the industry overall that both mediums continue to develop.
SuperData does have a good point here with the classification of the game. Technically, Pokémon Go can be played without ever turning the camera on because the real-world environments have no effect on the gameplay, besides map data. However, most users probably won’t get caught up with semantics and just want to enjoy the game for what it is.
Source: SuperData ResearchRelated: Mobile, News, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon GO, SuperData Research