Pokemon GO is big. Really big. You know what happens when games get big, don't you? The companies involved (and everyone else for that matter) try to repeat the formula.
In the wake of Pokemon GO, it seems obvious that AR gaming is going to be a big thing for the foreseeable future. If Nintendo's looking for another hit IP to apply Niantic's AR formula to (and we know it's getting into mobile gaming), we can think of some great candidates.
And yes, we know that Pokemon GO isn't actually a Nintendo effort as such. But it did kind of come about through an idea by late Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, and the Kyoto company also holds a major stake in The Pokemon Company. What, you think it's a coincidence that you've never seen a Pokemon game on a Sony or Microsoft console?
Imagine the augmented reality possibilities with these five Nintendo franchises.
Nintendo's latest original IP turned out to be an unexpected success. Not because Splatoon isn't great - it is - but because it launched on the flop Wii U console. Brought to a casual mobile audience, we reckon its vibrant and original paint-splattered world could do big numbers.
What's more, Splatoon's whole premise of territorial domination (through painting the floors and walls) between two distinct factions would work really well in a real-world AR context. Imagine 'painting' streets your colour by walking down them, and meeting up with team mates at key landmarks for tappy, splattery battles.
The idea of a Zelda mobile game will be sacrilege to many. We feel you. We're fans too. But when we think of the real world exploration that Pokemon GO has inspired, we're reminded of the genesis of Nintendo's epic action-RPG series.
The Legend of Zelda was conceived when creator Shigeru Miyamoto recalled his childhood exploration of the forests, hills, and caves around his town. In a way, then, an AR-assisted adventure would represent the truest representation of Miyamoto's original vision. We can imagine a geocaching-like experience full of hidden treasure boxes stashed in real world locations, and special dungeons (think Pokemon GO's gyms) filled with critters and additional loot.
Pikmin is the oddball in the Nintendo family, a real time strategy and management series set at a miniature scale. It's also thoroughly adorable, and we can see great potential for an AR spinoff.
We're imagining a much more intimate scale for Pikmin GO - possibly requiring you to stay still and use your immediate environment rather than scuttle around. One of the joys of the Pikmin games is seeing your army of tiny soldiers swarming around recognisable objects, such as bottle tops and batteries. We're imagining those same critters scuttling across your breakfast table to take down a googly-eyed monster wallowing in your cereal.
Okay, so we've included Mario in this list because, well, how do you compile any sort of Nintendo-themed list without him? Plus, let's not get too precious here - Mario would show up to open a supermarket if Nintendo told him too. He's already appeared in a number of casual party games, racing games, sports games, and even a terrible Hollywood movie.
All joking aside, how would Mario GO actually work? We can imagine moving around the real world to uncover item boxes and coins (the 'dings' alone would be reward enough), tapping on pipes to enter little mini-game bonus areas, and entering castles (again, like Pokemon GO's gyms) to battle the Bowser family.
Nintendo's most caring, sharing game is practically crying out for some AR treatment. Animal Crossing is already a highly social game of acquiring, farming, buying and swapping digital tat with other players. All Animal Crossing GO would need to do is to introduce a means to encounter fellow collectors in real life - or at least, exchange stuff through virtual post boxes littered around the world.
Of course, Animal Crossing already has that indefinable cute factor that seems to pull a range of punters in. This one could be huge.
Advance Wars, also known as Nintendo Wars, is a quirky series of turn-based strategy games that can devour hours of your time. It's distinctive 'red team vs blue team' battles set on 2D maps could transfer beautifully to the AR format, we feel.
Imagine battles raging on the very streets you live in, occupying and defending key locations, and capturing factories and bases for your chosen team in order to further the war effort.