Today, Niantic and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the development of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ augmented reality game, based on J.K. Rowling‘s Wizarding World franchise.
This latest ARG is being developed by Niantic, the company behind the hugely successful ARGs, Ingress and Pokémon GO, with Portkey Games, the game development arm of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, as co-developer. The game will be published by the only experienced ARG game developer and publisher, Niantic.
At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them, said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc.
The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.
For players of ARGs, this was an expected move for the J.K. Rowling‘s Wizarding World franchise. From the Harry Potter series to the latest film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and other works in this universe, the J.K. Rowling‘s Wizarding World is itself a type of augmented reality where only those born with the gift of magic can access, see, and interact with the hidden world of magic co-existing with the regular world.
With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way, said David Haddad, President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.
Additional details about the game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ will be announced in 2018. But fans around the world are already speculating on possible features that the developers can implement based on what we have seen in Ingress and Pokémon GO.
Some of these are:
- Wizards Unite™ or WizU will have four houses — Ravenclaw (blue), Gryffindor (red), Hufflepuff (yellow), and Slytherin (green). Compare that to Ingress which has two factions — the Resistance (blue) and Enlightened (green); and Pokémon GO or PoGo which has three teams — Mystic (blue), Valor (red), and Instinct (yellow).
- Or, instead of houses (which is Hoggwarts-centeric and UK-centric), there will be four clans. For example, Death Eaters, Order of the Phoenix, the International Confederation of Wizards (the governments), and maybe a faction that will first appear in WizU.
- There will be a wand for sale similar to Pokémon GO Plus or the Happic band.
- There will be pets and these pets can be used to battle with other players. The pets will be magical creatures and probably expect complaints from the magizoologists like Luna Scamander (née Lovegood). Compare that to PoGo.
- Hubs will act places where wizards can buy potions, better wands, books, withdraw/deposit money, or organise a wizard battle. The possibilities are endless. Think Parallel Kingdom and Parallel Mafia by PerBlue
- Quest system. A much improved version of the Mission system from Ingress.
- Fonts of Power. Could be a places where leylines intersect. Wizards will battle to control as many Fonts of Power to increase their power and territory. Think PoGo gyms, Ingress link and fields, and PerBlue‘s Parallel Kingdom and Parallel Mafia.
The above are but the obvious and simple ones. Niantic can develop new features that are not in Ingress and Pokémon GO, and they probably will. This is what makes WizU very exciting!
Is a self-confessed bibliophile and technophile other than being an early adopter, an avid gamer, a geek, nerd, role-player, anime otaku, and trekker.
His first online project was in 1998 when he launched the unofficial website for Ansalon MUD (a text-based, telnet online game) and his own community forums Laibcoms.Community. By 2003 he created his work blog GM-Yukino which grew into gameshogun™, Snoworld™, and techmagus™ over the years.
Yuki’s latest project is Verses.Space™, a Free Culture / Creative Commons, collaborative, and shared-world, worldbuilding and writing project.
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