The developers at Niantic tapped into something special when they first developed their augmented reality application, Ingress. Over the years, their success with AR gaming led to a partnership with one of the largest gaming franchises of all time – Pokemon. Niantic was pulled in to develop the Pokemon Go augmented reality application and in doing so they managed to create one of the most popular mobile games of all time. Still, Pokemon Go is only in its second year of full functionality but the team at Niantic are already honing in on expanding with another franchise: Harry Potter.
The title of the new AR game is ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’. Wizards Unite is seeking to take advantage of the augmented reality craze in order to tap into another huge and active fandom. Wizards Unite has been described as a mold of the work done on Pokemon Go and with Niantic leading the development of both properties, we can safely assume that there is going to be a serious crossover. Niantic and Warner Bros will be working in tandem on Wizards Unite so that they can create something special for their fans. While Wizards Unite seems to be a full-time project, Niantic has made it clear that they are not stepping away from Pokemon Go in the slightest.
Early reports for Wizards Unite aren’t really steeped in details at the moment. What we do know is that players will become a witch or wizard and their goal will be to “Discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around you” according to John Hanke, CEO at Niantic. Preliminary descriptions of the action in the game show that you’ll be tasked with battling enemies, meeting iconic characters from the franchise, casting spells, and discovering legendary beasts and mysterious artifacts. It sounds like, at face value, Niantic is taking the Pokemon Go layout and expanding it to fit the more interactive world of Harry Potter. You won’t just be spinning gyms and catching Pokemon. It sounds like there will be some semblance of a wider story to take hold of.
With early details still being leaked, fans are trying to wrap their heads around what exactly will differentiate Wizards Unite from Pokemon Go. Right now, with the development of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Wizards Unite get the bulk of attention going forward while Pokemon Go takes a more background priority.