Niantic Labs is developing a Harry Potter augmented reality game, titled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, following the success of Pokémon GO, for a projected 2018 release. Niantic found massive success last year when the developer debuted Pokémon GO, a mobile game that combines their location-based augmented reality software with the beloved Japanese property. Ever since Pokémon GO was released, fans of Harry Potter have hoped for a similar game to be developed based on the Boy Who Lifed given the world of J.K. Rowling's fantasy novel series is just as - if not more - expansive than even Pokémon.
The first of Rowling's wizarding world novels was published in 1997, with six more hitting shelves over the years. The books have been adapted into eight blockbuster films, and inspired a spinoff/prequel film series that kicked off with last year's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Harry Potter series also continues with new content via the Pottermore website, and has been brought to life in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida. Of course, there have also been a number of Harry Potter video games, but an augmented reality experience is certainly the next logical step for the Boy Who Lived.
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TechCrunch reports that Niantic Labs is developing the new title with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's newly created Portkey Games division. The game, titled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is projected to release sometime in 2018. Details about the game are scarce, but TechCrunch reports it will be heavily influenced by Niantic's 2012 mobile game, Ingress.
Like Pokémon GO and Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will presumably allow users to roam the real world while exploring and playing the game, but change out Ingress' battles and Pokémon GO's pokemon catching for spell-casting and wizard world adventuring. Certainly, the world of Harry Potter, as developed as it has become by Rowling's novels and all the other added content, lends itself well to Niantic's brand of AR mobile game.
It's unclear how exactly Harry Potter: Wizards Unite works in certain specific aspects from the book and film series - such as the locations of wizarding schools like Hogwarts and Ilvermorny as well as the wizard sport Quidditch. Additionally, since each of Niantic's games splits its users up into teams, players of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite may be split into the four Hogwarts houses, though that remains to be seen. There's still a great deal we don't know yet about this planned game. But since Niantic is working with Warner Bros. to produce Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, fans should rest assured knowing the companies will create a mobile app that allows fans to get as close to living in the world of Harry Potter as is possible.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is expected to release sometime in 2018.