9:21am PT by Patrick Shanley
'Harry Potter' Mobile Game Details Unveiled by Pokémon Go Creators
Grab your wands!
Niantic and WB Games, Warner Bros.' video game production arm, unveiled details about the upcoming AR mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
The new game, which is due for release this year, will implement AR tech similar to that seen in fellow Niantic title Pokémon Go. As players traverse the world with the Wizards Unite app open, they will encounter portals, monsters, rival wizards and much more that appear on their mobile screen mapped onto the real-world scenery around them.
Pokémon Go has proven to be a massive hit for Niantic, generating over $2 billion in revenue since its launch in July 2016. Meanwhile, the Harry Potter brand is valued above $25 billion and Warner Bros., which owns the film rights to the IP, has shown increased interest in licensing the series for video games with mobile game developer Jam City recently releasing the separate Potter title, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, in 2018.
In Wizards Unite, players begin their journey as new recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, a group charged with investigating and containing a "Calamity" plaguing the wizarding world.
Similar to the gym locations in Pokémon Go, real-world locations such as parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries and more are transformed in Wizards Unite into "Foundables" (artifacts, creatures, wizards and memories) that reward the player when discovered. Other areas will be transformed into Inns which replenish the player's "Spell Energy" and allow them to cast more magic while continuing their quests.
Additionally, players can test their spell mastery by teaming up with other users and competing in Wizarding Challenges found at locations called Fortresses. In these real-time multiplayer battles, players will take on threats such as Death Eaters and Dementors to earn high-level rewards.
Customization will also be available as players can choose what magical discipline or "profession" they'd prefer, with choices such as Aurors, Magizoologists, and Professors each offering unique abilities and benefits.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will launch on iOS and Android mobile devices later this year.