AR Game Makers Bank on Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 Launch to Generate Two Billion New Players

Posted on September 13, 2017


Augmented reality games that work with mobile devices are due for a huge boost with the announcement of native AR Kit for Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X. UK developer Draw & Code has a fully funded AR toy due for release and anticipates global market potential of two billion users.

Riding high on the wave of anticipation generated by Apple’s activity in the AR market, UK augmented reality games developer Draw & Code says there is potential for two billion daily mobile AR users. Co-founder John Keefe said: “Within the next decade two billion people will use AR-enabled apps daily. It’s something Apple recognised when they started snapping up AR tech companies and now we’re about to see the fruits of that investment.”

Apple will launch its ‘AR enabled’ iPhone 8 and iPhone X to match Google’s Tango in the mobile market, along with Microsoft’s HoloLens and a raft of other AR and VR ready headsets. Keefe believes the time has come for AR toy and games developers to cash in on the technology giants’ investment.

AR Landscape

Draw & Code featured alongside Pokemon Go creators Niantic in a Venture Beat report on the 2017 AR Landscape with its Swapbots creature combat game funded via Kickstarter. But it is D&C’s experiments with Apple’s ARKit that will push the company forward Keefe believes.

“With Snapchat and Pokemon Go bringing AR to a wider audience the timing is perfect for Apple to commit to this medium,” he said. “We regularly work out in Silicon Valley and the thinking there is that Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, along with existing AR platforms such as Vuforia, will give ambitious designers and developers the tools to change the way we interact with the world – this is big. AR is already accessible to billions of smartphone users world-wide and has the potential to turn any surface or space into an interactive, animated object.”

Strategic Merge

As well as Swapbots the company has also launched two titles for Merge VR’s new toy and game system the Merge Cube. Defuse puts a ticking bomb into the hands of the player while Snake Attack is a three dimensional puzzler inspired by the mobile classic Snake – both produced using Merge VR’s SDK and free to download from the Merge Miniverse online store.

“Snake will forever be associated with the earliest days of phone-based games and our homage to it takes things up a level by splitting the action between the six sides of the Merge Cube,” said Andy Cooper, Draw & Code co-founder. “We have all seen the tension-laden bomb scenes in action movies – with Defuse it’s up to you to solve the puzzle and stop the ticking bomb you are holding.”

The knowledge gained from Swapbots – due for release later in 2017 – makes Draw & Code logical partners of Merge as they look to developers that can harness the potential of their new platform.

“Kids will be able to learn, play, and explore in entirely new ways. From games to puzzles to learning adventures, the Merge Cube and the apps built for it open a new world of holographic play,” said Merge VR founder Franklin Lyons. “The Draw & Code team is on the forefront of creating amazing AR experiences — we’re happy and excited to be working with them to bring these new forms of play to people around the world.”

The Merge Cube blends high-tech mixed reality techniques with mobile app accessibility and was available to buy in August 2017. “Holding a hologram in your hand can be a profound experience,” said Lyons. “We’re merging the physical and the digital in a natural, intuitive way. The Merge Cube comes to life in your hands, and the possibilities of what it can be are limitless. This is a really exciting opportunity for developers to create entirely new experiences.”

Draw and Code’s John Keefe added: “The Merge Cube is a rare opportunity for developers to help shape a whole new way of interacting with digital content. As soon as we encountered Merge VR and their vision to open up immersive technology to a younger audience we were inspired. Now the Merge Cube is quite literally putting this exciting tech into the hands of the next generation.”