Niantic has been one of the most popular developers in mobile gaming over the past year. The team has worked hand-in-hand with the Pokemon brand in order to craft the largest augmented reality game of all time, Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go has finally put many of its past issues behind it as Niantic has listened to fan reaction in order to cultivate an AR experience worth whipping your phone out for. Despite recent success, it seems like Niantic is already looking to the future of mobile gaming and mobile technology. The next challenge for Niantic appears to be surrounding another mega-franchise: Harry Potter. Rumored for over a year, Niantic finally revealed that they will be working on a Harry Potter augmented reality game. What does this all mean?
The Harry Potter title that Niantic Labs has been developed was revealed as ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’. This application has been in development by Niantic over the past year despite ultimately being ruled as a hoax by leading internet resources. The title of the game was revealed by the company TechCrunch while being confirmed by Niantic themselves. Niantic was surprisingly quick to confirm the news that TechCrunch had released by saying, “With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players that have been dreaming of becoming real life Wizards will finally get the chance to experience JK Rowling’s Wizarding World’.
‘Wizards Unite’ will be developed alongside Warner Bros and it will allegedly take after the influence of a game called ‘Ingress’. Ingress was one of the first widely played, mobile augmented reality titles. In Ingress gamers would collect items, collect boosts, and defend real world locations via the AR/digital interface. Niantic went on to essentially confirm this assumption by revealing that the game will focus on having players take down ‘legendary beasts’ while forcing users to ‘team up with others to take down powerful enemies.’ It was widely believed that Pokemon Go would inspire a slew of augmented reality knock-offs so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see a franchise like Harry Potter get in on the action. After all, Harry Potter is on a complete upswing now thanks to the new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ trilogy.
While this is all great news for Harry Potter fans, Pokemon Go users have to be rolling their eyes. Niantic regularly struggled with rolling out quality updates and patching bugs so it remains to be seen how the company will do as they juggle two massive franchises.