Fantastic beasts, wizard adventures and magic spells will come to life in a new Harry Potter augmented reality mobile game from Pokemon Go developer Niantic Inc and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, the companies said on Wednesday.
Niantic Labs had tremendous success with Pokemon Go, which paired their expertise in building location-based augmented reality mobile experiences with a top-flight IP with a ravenous fan base. So, it stands to reason that we should expect a similar fan response to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR title set to launch in 2018, co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub-brand Portkey Games.
Niantic building a Harry Potter game similar to Pokemon Go was rumored last year when the company noted that it had acquired the rights to the app. But the rumor was subsequently debunked, oddly enough, with the original article containing the information pulled from the web.
The app is now official, but the details are still scarce, with the launch timeframe of just sometime next year, but it sounds like there will be significant influence from the Niantic game Ingress, which allows players to roam the real world collecting power-ups, defending locations and exploring their environment.
The mechanics of Ingress would actually translate pretty well to the fictional Harry Potter universe and seems almost ready-made for a fantasy spell-casting cost of paint to replace its science-fiction special forces veneer. Also, like Pokemon Go, it could benefit from the location database built up by Ingress originally (and expanded by the Pokemon title) to incorporate real-world locations into the in-game experience.