Potterheads found themselves in a frenzy when Niantic, the studio that developed “Pokémon Go,” announced a new Harry Potter-themed AR game. Since that 2017 announcement, fans have been anxiously awaiting an official word from the studio for a release date.
Now, an answer has arrived. According to an official tweet, the highly anticipated “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” will launch in the United States and the U.K. on Friday, June 21. Players in other regions will have a slightly longer wait as the game rolls out to a larger audience.
The worldwide launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins this Friday, June 21! Keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information as the game goes live in your region soon. #WizardsUnite pic.twitter.com/ckk4s4mi8a
— Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (@HPWizardsUnite) June 19, 2019
Niantic won the hearts and minds of Pokémon fans during the summer of 2016 with the simplicity of “Pokémon Go.” After all, the premise of walking around and catching creatures is something anyone can get behind.
“Wizards Unite” promises to be far more complex. The game is set during the events following the final “Harry Potter” book from the original series. In it, players are challenged with the task of hiding the magic world from muggles. Along the way, wizards will collect various magical items and fight turn-based wand duels to rescue notable characters. Fans will recognize elements and characters from both the original “Harry Potter” and the new “Fantastic Beasts” series.
Like “Pokémon Go,” the new game will feature a map of the real world. This helpful tool will allow players to interact with their actual surroundings while hunting magical items. “Wizards Unite” also contains a host of new features like skill trees and class systems. While these may be off-putting to casual players, die-hard fans and gamers should enjoy the level of complexity.
Despite the increased complexity, “Wizards Unite” has one thing going for it that “Pokémon Go” never had: magic. In her books and the smash-hit movies, J.K. Rowling creates a world where magic lives just beneath the surface. Though she isn’t directly involved with the game, it boasts plenty of lore and storytelling to ensure it is just as spectacular.
In a way, AR is the perfect avenue for bringing the wizarding world to life. Players will surely unlock a sense of wonder while interacting with magical creatures and casting spells in the places they visit every day. As long as they have a smartphone in hand, a world of magic will be just a few taps beneath the surface of reality.
With a massive global fanbase already established, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is sure to be another hit for Niantic. Hopefully, people are ready for another summer of seeing everyone with their heads down exploring popular parks and downtown hangouts. This time, they’ll be looking for signs of magic.
Stay tuned to The Burn-In for continued coverage and reactions once the game goes live.