Toys R Us tries to win back customers with new augmented reality mobile game

Will AR prove to be a magical place for the beleaguered company?

Toys R Us tries to win back customers with new augmented reality mobile game

Childrens’ toys retailer Toys R Us has launched a new augmented reality mobile game as the struggling company looks to win back customers.

The firm has just filed for bankruptcy protection after mounting long-term debts of as much as $5 billion.

Looking to tech

As part of its efforts to transform its stores, Toys R Us has partnered with UK developer PlayFusion, which has worked on Lightseekers, to develop its AR app.

Called Play Chaser, the game allows users to play AR games like basketball at designated points in stores, shown by star icons.

Led by Toys R Us mascot Geoffery the Giraffe, the game sends kids on a quest throughout the store. As well as playing games, players have the chance of winning digital prizes, such as virtual dolls, by scanning stars throughout a store.

Play Chaser is currently being trialled across select stores in the US, and is expected to roll out to all Toys R Us locations in the country from October 21st.

The scheme is likely part of efforts, similar to companies such a Apple and Game, to turn their stores into more of an entertaining experience, rather than simply a shopping destination.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.