How to Achieve the Sustainable Success of Geolocation-Based Augmented Reality Mobile Games: A “Complete Game” Strategy


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date23 Aug 2022


Geolocation-based (Geo) augmented reality (AR) mobile games are a new creative medium and information system combining the cutting-edge technologies of geolocation and AR to deliver new interactions and engagements to mobile game players, potentially disrupting the industry. Following the release of Pokémon GO in 2016, Geo AR mobile games have generated substantial volumes of revenue, produced behavioral changes among players, and triggered changes in the societal landscape. Nevertheless, there remain two concerns obscuring scholarly understanding of Geo AR mobile games: the absence of concrete definitions and the potential unsustainability of the (temporary) success of Geo AR mobile games. This unsustainability could hinder the development of the Geo AR mobile game industry, undermining its role in enabling future technology trends. Therefore, this thesis asks the following question: How can Geo AR mobile games obtain sustainable success? Specifically, what strategies can be used to achieve sustainable success for Geo AR mobile games?

To answer these questions, this thesis aims to propose a sequential investigation process. First, bibliometric analysis and a systematic literature review of research concerning Geo AR mobile games aim to identify up-to-date definitions that can enrich Geo AR mobile games cases and address the sustainable-success problem by calling for a “complete game” strategy. Second, by analyzing current Geo AR mobile games, a proxy for success is proposed to facilitate further investigation of the strategy. Third, in response to the call for a “complete game” strategy, the study analyzes Geo AR mobile games that have achieved sustainable success. Fourth, this “complete game” strategy is validated by statistical tests.

This thesis uses diverse methods to answer the questions pertinent to each step of the investigation. These methods include bibliometric analysis, a structured literature review, theoretical conjecture, trendline analysis, content analysis, and statistical testing. This thesis also proposes a new approach to investigating discontinuity in the time series, namely, the “CurveShape approach.” The thesis employs all of these methods to jointly clarify the sustainable success problem, propose a “complete game” strategy as a solution, and validate that solution. The study concludes with a discussion of what happens after the sustainable success of Geo AR mobile games has been achieved.