Harry Potter Wizards Unite is Niantic's next game according to an announcement from today. It'll follow Pokémon Go as the company's second AR game based on a popular license. What wizarding wonders will we behold through the window of our smartphones when Niantic releases their take on Harry Potter? No one knows, and the only facts we have confirmed are the title of the game and that it'll launch sometime in 2018.
Harry Potter Wizards Unite: What Will Niantic's Pokémon Go Successor be Like?
Niantic has partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive and Portkey Games, a subsidiary that seems like it may exist solely to support the new game, to develop Harry Potter Wizards Unite. No details have been released as to what the gameplay will be like, or what the AR features will center around.
There were rumors last summer that Niantic was working on a project based on Harry Potter. However, they seemed to have emerged from a site with hit articles like, "Parents concerned about Satanic themes in CA Elementary school books," and, "(BREAKING) Bernie campaign caught distributing LSD to youth," and were quickly discounted by Niantic and the press.
I'm hoping that it will involve wand collecting, done in the style of Pokémon Go. When you're out and about, going upon your daily forest stroll, your phone could use AR to turn any regular old branch or twig into a powerful magical artifact. Then to catch it you could throw rocks at it, or just pick it up. (See the mock-up above.)
Since the sticks and branches are (hopefully) stationary, you don't need any sort of incense or anything to attract them. Premium currency in Harry Potter Wizards Unite could be used to buy fancy new tracksuits for your avatar, or other cosmetic whatever.
Of course, being a wizard in the Harry Potter universe is all about deadly combat, so the multiplayer aspect could involve a sort of hide-and-seek match where Team Voldemort and Team Hogwarts have to chase each other around. When you get within a certain proximity to your target, you have to point your phone at them and make your best Hagrid impression.
Whoever has the best wand (the rarer the wood, the more powerful the wand), and is the best Hagrid gets one point. If you catch the AR snitch though you win the match because we've gotta get that in there somewhere.
I'm excited to see what Niantic will bring us with Harry Potter Wizards Unite, and I know it will likely not be at all like I described above. We'll all get a chance to try it when it releases sometime next year.