Virtual and augmented reality are big deals in the future of entertainment — they're immersive, fun, and full of possibilities. Niantic Labs gets the idea, and now it's working on a "Harry Potter GO" called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Niantic is the developer of the popular AR mobile game Pokémon GO, which is its second title following Ingress.
The Wizarding World Coming To Real Life
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will put the player in the shoes of a wizard or witch of the Wizarding World, and that includes learning and casting spells, all happening in a familiar neighborhood or city.
"We're incredibly excited to announce this next step in the evolution of AR mobile entertainment. With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players that have been dreaming of becoming real life Wizards will finally get the chance to experience J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. Players will learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies," Niantic says.
Presumably, "powerful enemies" refer to Death Eaters and perhaps Lord Voldemort. It's also safe to assume that it'll take cues from Pokémon GO and Ingress, such as systems for teams and location acquisitions.
"Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will leverage the full stack of the Niantic Platform while also providing an opportunity to pioneer all new technology and gameplay mechanics."
If teams really are going to be a thing, then it could be the Hogwarts houses Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. But it could also be the wizarding schools, such as the Durmstrang Institute, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, to name a few.
It's also unclear how spells will be cast, whether players will have to do certain motions with their phones or pronounce them — or maybe a combination of both. The same goes for how battles will take place.
In short, details are scarce at the moment.
Harry Potter AR Game Was Predicted
In 2016, when Pokémon GO was going in full steam, rumors that Niantic was going to create an AR game themed after Harry Potter were making the rounds online.
Back then, however, Snopes declared that it was a hoax, but as it turns out, it's the real deal, after all.
Niantic is developing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with Warner Bros. Interactive and its new brand Portkey Games. It's expected to launch sometime in 2018.
In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, you're not a muggle. You're a full-fledged wizard.