Location-Based Gaming’s Second Phase (2008–Present)

  • Dale Leorke


This chapter examines the entrance of location-based gaming into the app ecology and their subsequent popularisation and commercialisation. I outline how the ubiquity of smartphones coupled with the digital distribution model of the app ecology grant location-based game designers a near-globally universal platform to reach millions of players around the world, vastly increasing their potential audiences and profitability. But as I demonstrate, despite this shift, location-based gaming apps are yet to move beyond conservative, derivative game designs nor provide their designers with a sustainable business model over the long-term. Through an analysis of the political economy of location-based gaming apps and developers—from Niantic’s Ingress (2013) and Pokémon Go (2016) to Kickstarter-funded games like Zombies, Run! (Six to Start & Naomi Alderman, 2012)—I outline how the affordances, constraints, and imperatives of the app ecology shape location-based games’ design.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Leorke
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence in Game Culture StudiesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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