Pokémon GO developers Niantic have this week confirmed that their Harry Potter themed smartphone AR game is launching some time in 2019. The game was first announced a year ago, with the release year originally stated as 2018. The game is being jointly developed with Warner Bros’ Portkey Games subsidiary, which developed the official Harry Potter mobile game, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Pokémon GO, launched in 2016, is the most successful AR game of all-time. According to market research firm Apptopia, the game has over 50 million players and made over $2 billion in revenue.
Just like Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite uses the phone’s GPS to overlay creatures on a stylized map of the real world, which the player must physically traverse. This time however the creatures are the ‘fantastic beasts’ and lively characters of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
The cryptic website of the game describes:
Please resist the urge to panic. Traces of magic are appearing across the Muggle world without warning and in a rather chaotic manner. We worry it is only a matter of time before even the most incurious Muggles catch wind of it. We call on all witches and wizards to help contain the Calamity or risk the worst of times since You Know Who. Brush up on your spells, get your wand ready, and enlist immediately.
This suggests that the game will follow the story of the Fantastic Beasts spin-off series of the Harry Potter universe, which is set in real world cities where magical creatures have gotten loose. With the second Fantastic Beats film launching today and a third scheduled for 2020, the AR game could see huge popularity, perhaps even rivaling that of Pokémon GO itself.