Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco, and published by Niantic, under license from Portkey Games.[1] The game is based on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter franchise created by J. K. Rowling. It was launched for Android and iOS mobile devices on 21 June 2019. A beta version was released in New Zealand in April 2019, and in Australia in May 2019.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
HarryPotterWU-logo.png
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Niantic
SeriesWizarding World
Platform(s)Android, iOS
ReleaseJune 21, 2019
Genre(s)Augmented reality, location-based game
Mode(s)Multiplayer
single-player Edit this on Wikidata

OverviewEdit

 
Players must physically travel to explore the game's map and visit fortresses (the two large towers), inns (building in foreground) and greenhouses (two small blue glasshouses).

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was announced on November 8, 2017, as an augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco.[2] Players are able to visit real-world locations while casting spells, discovering mysterious artefacts, and encountering iconic characters and legendary beasts from the Harry Potter universe.[1] The game draws inspiration from previous AR games Pokémon GO and Ingress.[3]

With Niantic's purchase of Escher Reality, the game is expected to implement new technology to allow for persistent worlds within AR.[4] On November 14, 2018, it was confirmed that the game would be released in 2019.[5]

GameplayEdit

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay has been described as similar to that of Pokémon Go, with players able to view the gameplay world through a smartphone.[6] The game allows players to fight against mythical beasts from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise.[7] Players may choose their wizarding house, their wand, and their profession: either Professor, Auror or Magizoologist.[8]

After creating a game account, the player makes an avatar, whose location depends on the device's geographical location. The player then travels around the real world to find “confounded” items and creatures, and “unconfound” them. The player can also stop at inns (to replenish spell energy), greenhouses (to gain potion ingredients and grow new ingredients), and fortresses (to fight dark wizards and beasts). As the player moves within their real world surroundings, their avatar moves within the game's map.

In April 2020, Wizards Unite introduced the Knight Bus which allows players to participate in magical challenges in virtual fortresses regardless of their physical location, an answer to the worldwide lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] The feature will stay even after the pandemic.

ReleaseEdit

A first gameplay video for the game was released in March 2019, showing footage defending from a Dementor, and being attacked by a Werewolf.[10][11] On March 11, 2019, pre-registration on Google Play opened for the app as well as new in-game footage was released by Niantic.[12] On April 17, 2019 the game was beta released in New Zealand.[13] On April 24, 2019, an email was sent in error stating that the game would launch in Australia for beta testing.[14] On April 26, 2019, the game launched in Australia for beta testing. But several hours later, Niantic confirmed it was another mistake and it was taken down from the App Store. The game was re-released in Australia on May 2, 2019.[15] The game was released in the US and the UK on June 20, 2019, a day earlier than previously announced, with additional countries expected to gain access in the days ahead.[16]

ReceptionEdit

AwardsEdit

The game won the People's Voice Award for "Technical Achievement" at the 2020 Webby Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Family & Kids".[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Niantic, Inc. and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announce Partnership for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an Augmented Reality Mobile Game Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World" (Press release). Niantic. November 8, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "FAQ - Harry Potter: Wizards Unite". harrypotterwizardsunite.com. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "Harry Potter Wizards Unite: Movie fans new Pokemon GO style mobile game coming 2018". Daily Star. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Niantic's Latest Acquisition Has Big Implications For 'Pokémon GO'". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "First look at new logo for mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite". Pottermore. November 14, 2018. Archived from the original on November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' will soon be released by the same developers of 'Pokemon Go'". Christian Today. Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Kirwin, Ellen (January 8, 2018). "Pokemon Go creators to release Harry Potter Wizards Unite game". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on March 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  8. ^ Colby, Clifford (March 11, 2019). "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite mashes up J.K. Rowling's world and Pokemon Go". CNET. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  9. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (April 20, 2020). "Niantic's AR Harry Potter game has a cute solution to COVID-19 self-quarantines". The Verge. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Phillips, Tom (March 11, 2019). "Hands-on with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the Pokémon Go follow-up Niantic wants to run for "decades"". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - release date, trailer and all you need to know about the AR game touted as the next Pokémon Go". Evening Standard. March 13, 2019. Archived from the original on March 13, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Sholtz, Matthew (March 11, 2019). "Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available on the Play Store for pre-registration". Android Police. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Walker, Alex (April 17, 2019). "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Has Launched (In New Zealand)". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  14. ^ Wright, Steve (April 24, 2019). "Harry Potter Wizards Unite beta will extend to Australia". Stevivor. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  15. ^ "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite beta now live in Australia and New Zealand". Harry Potter Wizards Unite. May 1, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  16. ^ Pereira, Chris (June 20, 2019). "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Launches: Early Release On iPhone, Android Out Now". GameSpot. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "Webby Awards: Games". The Webby Awards. May 19, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

External linksEdit