Prediction: AR Applications and Games Will Go Mainstream in 2018

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

Augmented Reality (AR) technology will integrate in some mainstream apps in 2018. Also, maybe we will see new games that break Pokemon GO’s record.

The year 2018 will mark a new standard for games and application technology. One of them is Augmented Reality or simply called AR. Some tech industry’s enthusiasts predicted that AR technology will go mainstream in 2018.

This research was first published by Matt Miller on App Annie insight blog. Matt says that AR will likely become more integrated into a variety of mainstream apps in the coming year.

When we take a look at how AR technology rose in the past year, we can say that 2016 was the year it made its first big splash thanks to the success of Pokemon GO and Snapchat. These two applications successfully introduced AR technology to a larger audience and gave users more interactivity.

Then, Matt continues that 2017 was the year of cultivation as big players such as Facebook, Google and Apple show their serious investment in AR at their developer conferences. Their moves were followed by some Chinese big company such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.

Likely, in 2018 we will see the apps they developed to go to market. That will make AR transform from a more niche experience to a technology that users will encounter more often.

AR Technology App Games highlight

Matt’s insight is followed by a series of indicators. One of them is the total downloads showing the consumer’s interest.  As shown in the data above, the total downloads of AR apps increases in Q4 of 2017. That is an upward trajectory that we can expect will continue in 2018.

AR Games Gain Revenue Faster than Other Top Games

Another good indication of this prediction is how Pokemon Go made its successful launch back in 2016. Pokemon GO was able to hit the $500 million in consumer spends in just over 60 days, a pace that easily made it the fastest app to ever hit that milestone.

AR Technology App Games highlight

This pace is even 3.3x faster than Candy Crush Saga to reach that milestone. And, it took over 400 days (or 6.7x slower than Pokemon GO) for Clash of Clans to do the same.

Will Wizards Unite Break Pokemon GO’s Record?

AR Technology App Games highlight

Given a fact that Pokemon GO has a big success, now we should wait for the new standard for this kind of technology. Matt predicts that one of them is an app called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. This app is in development by Pokemon GO‘s developer Niantic and surely it will implement some cool feature from Pokemon GO and Ingress with some improvement.

Given just how massive and dedicated the fanbase of Harry Potter is, and that Niantic will launch Wizards Unite with the benefits of lessons learned from Pokemon GO, we could well see this record surpassed.

How About the Using of AR in Mainstream Apps?

AR Technology App Games highlight

The prediction’s title is “AR will go mainstream in 2018”. So, it must be applied in some apps that used by people every day. For now, we can see that some AR features are implemented in mainstream apps. Google Translate is a good example, where users can get the translation instantly only by pointing their camera to a text.

The second example is at Bat. With the new version of the app, AR will leverage data from Statcast, MLB’s in-house analytics tool. So users can not only access individual player information as they watch a game but also metrics like real-time ball velocity.

10 Most Anticipated Southeast Asian Games in 2018

These are the most anticipated games from Southeast Asia that are planned to be released around 2018 in platforms ranging from mobile to console.

Some Chinese companies (as mentioned above) will also lead the way, thanks to their big investments in this technology. For example, Baidu has invested in AR in order to deliver services in education, healthcare, marketing, and tourism, including a project to recreate historic sites in Beijing and one that is rooted in a 3D interactive map.

Edited by Devi




About Writer

Febrianto is the Senior Editor of and the Lead Editor of He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.