A New Niantic Adventure, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Announced!
Promptly after the release of Pokémon GO in 2016, rumors of a “Harry Potter: GO” in development spread like wild fire. Most of these rumors were quickly debunked as they had no source and most were obviously fan made. There was even a petition to have an AR Harry Potter by WB and Niantic, supported by 68,419 people.
Today, those rumors got a few drops of Veritaserum when Niantic Labs announced it’s newest title in partnership with WB Games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite! Details are vague, but lets dive into what we know so far!
“Explore the real-world”
This is obviously no surprise at all, though for new visitors, Niantic Labs is known for developing Augmented Reality (AR) games which use real-world locations and GPS for positioning players in it’s digital world. Niantics other titles, Ingress and Pokémon GO, are perfect examples of this quickly emerging genre.
“Discover mysterious artifacts”
It’s unknown if we’ll be discovering Horcruxes or enchanted stones, but the idea of hunting for magical artifacts of any kind sounds exciting! The speculation surrounding the discovering of artifacts may be done 1 of 2 ways. 1) Artifacts are given as a standard/rare item when visiting a location of interest, like with Portals in Ingress and PokéStops in Pokémon. Or 2) You must track down artifacts within your proximity, like the early day tracker used in Pokémon GO. As a refresh, this tracking system varied between 1-3 steps depending on how close you were to that Pokémon. Once close enough, you could interact with the Pokémon you were tracking down.
“Learn to cast spells”
What would a Harry Potter game be without spells!? This could potentially be the most exciting aspect of the game. Will we have a variety of spells for battling? The endless possibilities of spell casting to game mechanics is thrilling and I hope Niantic takes full opportunity of this.
“Encounter legendary beasts”
With release of the cinematic film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” last year, we have so great visuals of some of the beasts we can expect in the game. Will we be capturing these beasts? Or perhaps we’ll be using some of our spell arsenal to battle them!
Encounter “iconic characters”
Depending on where Harry Potter: Wizards Unite takes place in Potter lore will determine which “iconic characters” we’ll see in this title. There are so many diverse characters to pick and choose from and well use of these characters will help immerse us into the AR experience.
Team up with others to take down powerful enemies
In Pokémon GO, Trainers of different teams gather to take out a Raid Boss (usually requiring about 8 people). Regardless of there being teams in Wizards Unite, I could see the same mechanics for battling Raid Boss’ being used in this new title. I wonder what the reward will be for us taking out a Death Eater!
In Niantics other titles, teams are a core aspect of the game. Ingress has 2 teams while Pokémon GO has 3. Though the world of Harry Potter has many schools, I could see them focusing on the 4 Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as the basis for teams. At this time though, it is unknown if we will be seeing teams or houses in Wizards Unite.
Recent acquisition of Evertoon
5 days ago Niantic announced it’s acquisition of the company Evertoon. At a glance, Evertoon was used for making videos with customization avatars. Outside the walking/running avatars we see in Pokémon GO, Niantic hasn’t had any major focuses on animating characters or even having Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in the game outside flat menus. We’ll see how Niantic puts this team to work on Wizards Unite and other titles.
For all your hard core Harry Potter fans out there, you’ll want to sign up on the official mailing list for news and details. Niantic has done an invite only system for it’s last two betas, and with Pokémon GO, preference was given to high level Ingress players! It is highly recommended you check out Ingress to familiarize yourself with Niantic games and to possibly even get preference into the Wizards Unite beta when it is announced.
We knew a new Niantic title was hanging in the air and it’s exciting to see what that finally is! Fev Games is excited to add this new adventure to our AR News coverage. Start practicing your spells and I’ll see you on the train to Hogwarts!