November 2017 is a big month for augmented reality fans, alongside Warner Bros and Niantic (Niantic is associated with the 2016 hit AR game, Pokémon GO.) However on the 8 of this month, Niantic announced the development of a Harry Potter themed game, called “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.” While the announcement of the game is exciting for AR fans, there has been no confirmation on the official release date. Niantic has said the game release will occur in 2018, but the broad release date does little to satiate many fans.
The platforms on which the game will be released also remain unconfirmed, but based on Pokémon GO the likely platforms will be iOS and Android. This makes the most sense since the game will probably make use of the rear facing cameras and touchscreens on iPhones and Androids.
In regards to the gameplay, Warner Bros has confirmed that Niantic will be the predominant development team for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. This means the new phone game probably will share similarities with the previously successful Pokémon GO. There is an official site for the game up now. The website provides the option to sign up for game updates and provides a brief hint about what gameplay might entail.
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite uses state-of-the-art augmented reality technology to reveal the magic all around us. Explore real-world neighborhoods and cities to discover mysterious artifacts, learn to cast spells, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters along the way!”
Looking at the above description found on the game website, the new app seems to be following a similar path to Pokémon GO. With this in mind, it’s likely that visiting certain real world locations will present new monsters and challenges to beat, just like Pokémon GO. In his recent blog post, Niantic CEO John Hanke talks about using team mechanics to beat powerful enemies.
This new game provides Niantic many opportunities to improve upon the shortcomings of Pokémon GO. While keeping certain elements — like the location-based game mechanics — Niantic will need to provide consistency in game goals, activities and incentives in order to prevent a rapid fizzle out of their new game. This new game is definitely something to look forward to in the upcoming year and will hopefully prove to be an exciting improvement of Pokémon GO.