Discuss about the Artificial Intelligence and Business of Smart Games.
Pokémon Go is game based on the concept of Augmented Reality (AR), that was developed as a collaborative project of Nintendo and Niantic, especially meant to be played in technological devices built upon an iOS or Android software interface. It was launched in the year 2016 and immediately rose to fame due to its engaging facility of capturing, training and fighting of digital or fictitious characters, the Pokémon to be specific, on real-life geographical locations. In spite of receiving criticisms from certain avenues, it cannot be denied that this game revolutionized the domain of small-time gaming, and amassed a huge profit within the course of a year.
Artificial Intelligence is widely acknowledged as the most important contributor to the rapidly advancing technology of the modern age. While on one hand it has brought human beings closer to machines and automatons, on the other, it has raised the quotient of achievement-based actions by introducing an array of smart facilities, often based on a perception of the environment (Makridakis, 2017).
The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) comes close to that of Virtual Reality, however, differing in the magnitude of impositions. While virtual reality opens up a completely unreal world in front of the people, AR is more rooted to reality and offers a unique admixture of both the worlds. The concept of AR has been widely discussed by Michael Porter and James Heppelmann, whereby they declare that the purpose of AR is to effortlessly bridge the psychological gap between the two realms, the real and the virtual (Porter & Heppelmann, 2017). In the 21st century, this theory is used not only for easier accessibility of daily chores, ranging from ordering food to booking travel tickets, but also for entertainment purpose through provisions of modernized gaming techniques.
The evolution of this game has questioned the metanarratives of gaming technology and bought significant changes upon the same. In this game, a quester has to traverse the areas of his own locality in search of digitalized creatures which they are entitled to capture and make use of through mobile phones (Rauschnabel, Rossmann & Dieck, 2017). The app offers features pertaining to the game, which the player comes across as he/she passes through different geographical locations. It had a considerable amount of psychological bearing on the minds of the players, whereby the dichotomies of appearance and reality are challenged, and they are strategically made to believe that the occurrences within the gaming world are real, on which they have a significant amount of control. The introduction of real-life cafés and restaurants like Starbucks and MacDonald’s as ‘Poke Stops’ further obliterated the boundaries (Pamuru Khern-am-nuai & Kannan, 2018). The euphoria of discovering their own locales on virtual media devices, and the provision of playing with them has reduced the risk of representing three-dimensional entities on a two-dimensional interface. The game raised the bar of mobile-gaming to a different level, displaying its power to captivate the minds of gaming public, at the same time, attracting more new customers into the mobile-gaming arena.
Impact on Market
The domain of Augmented Reality has resulted in behavioural and personality changes. Conversation of the modern man include terms and phrases linked to the digital media. With respect to gaming technology, its advancement and engaging element has shifted the focus from other modes of entertainment to this new quasi-digital platform of augmented reality. Pokémon Go has topped the charts of digital gaming media since its inception. The game holds the record for the maximum number of downloads within the first few days. Widespread addiction has led to accidents and traffic congestions in different regions (Colley et al., 2017). Due to an extreme amount of use, severe technical glitches, authentication errors and problems related to the servers were also reported throughout the world. In spite of these negative impacts its popularity continued to grow. It had experienced a revenue income of more than 200million US dollars within the very first month and holds a Guinness World Record for the same. While on one hand it posed a stiff competition to other businesses of mobile-gaming, at the same time, it also influenced them and other new market entrants to make wise use of artificial intelligence.
Business Model Canvas
A ‘business model canvas’ is used to evaluate and rationalize the workflow and consequent profitability of a company (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010). There are certain key determining factors which goes in to the evaluation of a company. First in this list is the segmentation of customers or ensuring the customer base. Pokémon Go caters to a diversified mass market. Another important point is Value Proposition, which aims to solve the interests of the customers by providing adequate facilities. The newness of this game and the huge magnitude of customers worldwide prevented the initial technical problems caused by the sales channels, that is, the servers, to cause much impact on its long-standing reputation. Value propositions usually have a direct impact on the revenue of any company, however, statistics of revenue earned through this particular game proves otherwise. Other than years of strategic teamwork, and initial implementation of expensive tools, a vast segment of the cost structure of this company goes to the various portals and service providers through whom, it reaches the market. Taking all these into consideration, it may be said that the vast response and economic turnover from this game is a marker of its excellent relationship with the customers.
The excellent response Pokémon Go received within the first few months and its subsequent flourish should never give way to complacency. Newer engaging ideas should be implanted from time to time at a consistent rate, whenever the previous would run the risk of monotony. It must expand its business beyond the existing fan base, and strive to resolve the conflicts regarding accidents and traffic congestions. The problems that had emerged from poor server facilities in the initial days must also be addressed carefully, such that a huge magnitude of users should not be a hindrance in the face of the services provided, thereby minimizing the risks of a tarnished reputation from certain small quarters.
In conclusion, it may well be said that Artificial Intelligence, through its platform of Augmented Reality has made a huge impact on the lives of the modern man. The game Pokémon Go has influenced the cultural arena on a global scale. It is ironic how the introduction of real-life locations on virtual media has further removed the borders of reality and fiction in the mind of the users. Modern man has become hugely dependent on this world of fiction, which they often inadvertently think real. As a result of the engaging factor, this is going to have a long-standing impact on human civilization, whether for the good or bad, is subject to speculation.
Colley, A., Thebault-Spieker, J., Lin, A. Y., Degraen, D., Fischman, B., Häkkilä, J., ... & Wenig, D. (2017, May). The geography of Pokémon GO: beneficial and problematic effects on places and movement. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1179-1192). ACM.
Makridakis, S. (2017). The forthcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution: Its impact on society and firms. Futures, 90, 46-60.
Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. John Wiley & Sons.
Pamuru, V., Khern-am-nuai, W., & Kannan, K. N. (2018). The Impact of an Augmented Reality Game on Local Businesses: A Study of Pokemon Go on Restaurants.
Porter, M. E., & Heppelmann, J. (2017). Why every organization needs an augmented reality strategy. Harvard Business Review, 95(6), 46-57.
Rauschnabel, P. A., Rossmann, A., & tom Dieck, M. C. (2017). An adoption framework for mobile augmented reality games: The case of Pokémon Go. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 276-286.