Just when you thought Mr. Mime couldn’t get any creepier…
For the past 20 years, the Pokemon franchise has established itself as one of the most recognizable and successful media properties in history. The legendary series has spawned multiple television shows, 18 animated films, an endless lineup of exclusive merchandise, and 122 video game releases, along with countless other immensely popular iterations.
Next week, however, the franchise will—for the first time in a long time—venture into unknown territory when Detective Pikachu, the first live-action Pokemon feature film, makes its way to US theatres May 10th.
To help celebrate this momentous occasion, Google has teamed up with Warner Bros. Studios to deliver an official Detective Pikachu Playmoji pack for their Google Playground application. Available on Google Pixel and select LG and Motorola devices, this latest AR sticker pack introduces several animated Pokemon characters for you to pose and interact with throughout various real-world environments.
Beginning today, users can open up their Playground app to find an adorable 3D animated interactive Jigglypuff, a towering augmented Charizard, a disturbingly judgmental Mr. Mime, and—of course—Detective Pikachu himself.
Powered by ARCore’s motion tracking and light estimation technology, users can drop one, or all four of their digital pocket monsters, into their real-world environment and watch as they interact with their surroundings—as well as each other—using the same animations and sounds featured in the upcoming film.
Much like Google’s other Playmoji releases, users can snap a selfie with any of the augmented characters, who will immediately react to your facial expressions in real-time thanks to machine learning functionality.
Google’s Detective Pikachu Playmoji AR sticker pack is available for free via the Google Play Store. This Pokemon-inspired pack launches on the heels of a release for musical sensation Childish Gambino, who received his own interactive Playmoji character back in February of this year.
Since rebranding their Playground platform this past October, Google has been providing a steady amount of support to their AR-based application, teaming up with several big name brands and personalities in the process. No doubt their AR stickers have proven to be an excellent marketing device for various entertainment properties.