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Niantic’s Pokémon GO was a huge global phenomenon that took the world by storm in 2016. Players were outdoors, catching Pokémon, and reliving the nostalgia of the Generation 1 days. The game was rather addictive and brought people together, with some reports that it was even improving players’ mental health. Niantic is now targeting fans of the Harry Potter franchise with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Niantic has been criticized for not maintaining Pokémon GO to the standards of fans, so the idea of a venture into the Harry Potter universe might raise some eyebrows. According to the official press release:
We’re incredibly excited to announce this next step in the evolution of AR mobile entertainment. With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players that have been dreaming of becoming real life Wizards will finally get the chance to experience J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Players will learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies. We’re thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WB Games San Francisco’s development team to bring this magical and beloved series to life in a brand new way. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will leverage the full stack of the Niantic Platform while also providing an opportunity to pioneer all new technology and gameplay mechanics.
Although much of this is still speculation, it could be assumed from the press release that players will be given an opportunity to join one of the four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) and advance in level by walking around and taking out enemies with specific spells (much like in Pokémon GO). In addition, there could be an in-game currency in which people can use to purchase spell books and other items that might be used in the game. The game is slated for an early 2018 release, although there is no exact release date.
What do you want from a Harry Potter game?