Niantic, the developers behind the incredibly popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go, have announced that they are undertaking another augmented reality project, this time revolving around the magical world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Dubbed Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the game will use “state-of-the-art AR mobile technology and allow players to go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artifacts, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters as they explore real-world neighborhoods and cities across the globe.” While no release date has been set for the game, more details are expected to be unveiled in 2018.
Accompanying the announcement John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic, Inc., stated that “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.” It is thus assumed that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will not be met with a warm reception by the governments of countries like China who banned Pokemon Go, but for everyone else, the combination of Pokemon Go’s unique playstyle and the beloved world of Harry Potter sounds might sound quite intriguing, at least in theory.
It should be noted that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, or at least the division that oversees Harry Potter related games, Portkey Games, will have a hand in developing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. David Haddad, the President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, stated that “With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way.” In addition, Mr. Haddad said that “It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”
While no further information about the game has been released you can sign up on their website to be the first to recieve information and it comes out.
Before anyone gets too excited though, it should be kept in mind that Pokemon Go, while ludicrously popular at first, was hampered by technical problems far beyond the initial release date (everyone expects technical problems on release date, especially if you’re familiar with popular games that revolve around multiplayer experiences). In addition, Niantic did crack down on many third party apps that were designed to make Pokemon hunting easier, despite the fact that such apps made up for the shortcomings of Pokemon Go. Whether or not Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will encounter such speedbumps remains to be seen, but it may be a good idea to keep Niantic’s track record in mind as more announcements are made in the future.