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“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” Promises Augmented Reality Wizardry

Niantic Inc., the developer of Pokemon GO and Ingress, is delving back into the augmented reality genre with their upcoming games Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game is being made in collaboration with WB Games San Fransisco & Portkey Games. Little is known about the game at this time beyond a quote on the game’s official website:

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite uses state-of-the-art augmented reality technology to reveal the magic all around us. Explore real-world neighbourhoods and cities to discover mysterious artifacts, learn to cast spells, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters along the way!

Though not confirmed, players can likely expect a lot of the elements present in Pokemon GO and Ingress. That means various in game events and activities overlaying real world maps. It will be interesting to see how Harry Potter: Wizards Unite changes the formula used in Pokemon GO. One direction that could be taken is a focus on spell-based puzzle solving and urban exploration rather than monster collection and gyms.

Soon after its launch in 2016 Pokemon GO became a worldwide phenomenon, taking over both real world streets and social media. Although the game soon fell out of favor with many users, Pokemon GO still maintains and active user base and is consistently among Google Play’s top grossing games.

The big loser in all of this is likely to be Maguss, a crowdfunded augmented reality game featuring wizards and magic. While Maguss is not affiliated with Warner Brothers or Harry Potter, users often associated the two. It is unclear how much of an overlap the two will have, however it is likely that Wizards Unitee will take a lot of attention away from Maguss, which is currently in closed beta and requires a beta key to play.

A release date for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has not been announced, and pre-registration is not available at this time. More details are expected some time in 2018. Players can sign up for a newsletter on the game’s official website.

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