This is not a drill. The new Harry Potter mobile game will arrive on iPhone and Android this Friday to those in the US and UK. According to Business Insider, comedian Tiffany Hadish revealed the news at a special event held yesterday. Entitled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the mobile augmented reality will see players tasked with exploring the real world in order to keep magical occurrences away from the eyes of non-magical folk (muggles or no-maj, depending on which side of the pond you’re from).
But there have been previous Harry Potter mobile games, so why should you care about this one? Well, if you always knew in your heart that your letter from Hogwarts would have arrived if only the owl carrying it hadn’t gotten sucked into a jet engine, than this may come close to remedying that mistake. Niantic, the studio behind the game, previously created Pokemon Go, which took the world by storm Summer 2016, offering an immersive Pokemon experience. If prior success is any indication, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite could prove a global phenomenon. The studio will continue to support Pokemon Go, and recently expanded to accommodate the new game.
Like the critter-catching app that came before it, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will incorporate real-world locations and travel into its gameplay. Players can turn on augmented reality to see characters and locations from the movies overlaid onto the real-world through their phone’s camera. Hagrid needs help with a magical creature? A portkey appears that will transport you into Dumbledore’s office? By tapping their phone to cast spells, you can interact with these events. But unlike Pokemon Go when it first debuted, Wizards Unite will have more to do than simply interact with these events. Players will take on a Wizarding World profession such as auror or magizoologist and battle dark wizards, while leveling up their magical abilities and collecting records of famous people and creatures from J.K. Rowling’s hit series.
It’s somewhat surprising that the game will release so soon. It recently had a limited demo for members of the press to give their first impressions of the game, followed by a beta release in Australia and New Zealand. It seemed likely that another limited release would occur in a smaller country, and the game would slowly get rolled out over time like with Pokemon Go. But perhaps this is a sign that Niantic used what it learned from that game to fine-tune Wizards Unite a bit more. After testing it out in Australia and New Zealand, Niantic likely found the positive feedback proved it needed no further testing.
Either way, we’ll find out this Friday. Check out the game for yourself, it’s free after all, and we’ll give our thoughts as well. Until then, check out the new launch trailer: