Harry Potter: Wizards Unite dropped an interesting trailer earlier today, hinting at what the story might be when the game releases in 2019. The trailer also featured an iconic Harry Potter item in the Golden Snitch, although it wasn't particularly clear how the Quidditch equipment will factor into the game's actual play.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the latest game from Niantic, the developer made famous by Pokemon GO. Pokemon GO has been a killer app in mobile gaming for the better part of two years now, and even during periods of fan discontent, the game consistently remained one of the industry's biggest cash cows. With Pokemon GO's most glaring issues finally behind the title, Niantic is finally moving forward with its next alternate reality game, this time using another globally recognized license in Harry Potter.
The Harry Potter: Wizards Unite trailer is an exciting one in the context of the game's release, although precious little happens within the video itself. The trailer opens on a Golden Snitch flying around an alley near Muggle-populated streets, caught on what appears to be a video camera. A witch appears on screen and subdues the Golden Snitch immediately before conjuring up a poster that states that the wizarding world is at risk of exposure, calling for those who can wield magic to unite. In the background, ominously large-sounding footsteps echo in the distance - could there be giants in the future for the Muggle world?
The Harry Potter: Wizards Unite trailer doesn't explain much, but it leaves a fair amount of clues for those familiar with the Harry Potter universe. For one, the fact that the security camera in the footage can pick up both the Golden Snitch and the poster is a sign that the wizarding world isn't just in danger of being revealed to non-magical folk - it already has been revealed, at least in certain areas. Given Niantic's experience with regional-based activities in both Pokemon GO and Ingress, it's fair to wonder if there will be specific locations that are more at risk than others, and if gameplay will see app users tasked with fixing these disturbances.
Catching the Golden Snitch is also reminiscent of Pokemon GO's Pokemon catching functionality, but it's unclear how much of that will be retained in the gameplay of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. A press release stated that players will be able to encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way to unravelling a global mystery, so it will be interesting to see if there's a bigger emphasis on story in this game. There are certainly more questions than answers at present, but at the very least, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is on target for a 2019 launch, so we'll have more details soon.