If EA needed proof that augmented reality games could be a viable new market, Pokemon GO has certainly provided it.
Speaking in a recent investor’s call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson noted that the company has been “energized” by the success of Niantic’s AR app, which is still going strong after launching on smartphones around a month ago. He commented that some of EA’s own brands were “unbelievably social in nature”, and that “participation at the community level through AR will heighten that experience.”
Wilson concluded by teasing that EA has been working on “some things for some time” in the AR space and will release them when “we think we can better engage communities through AR.”
You don’t have to dig deep to find EA franchises that could mix well with AR. While key hardcore series like Battlefield and Titanfall might not gel, EA Sports lines like FIFA and Madden seem like an ideal match that could reach a similar level of success to Pokemon GO. You can easily picture kids and adults running out to collect football cards, for example.
Personally we’d love to see what Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle creator PopCap Games could do in this space too.
Elsewhere, Wilson also spoke of EA’s efforts in VR, specifically in the mobile and console space, which he said the company would continue to invest in. On the console front, the company is working with Sony to create the Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing Mission for the upcoming PlayStation VR headset, which is being developed by Criterion. It’s also possible the developer is working on a brand new VR game too.
In the mobile space, we saw a brief mention of a VR Need for Speed game when Google’s Daydream VR ecosystem was announced back in May, though we’re still waiting for more details on it. Hopefully we’ll see much more of EA’s VR plans when these headsets launch later on in the year.