Unless you spent 2016 in a cave, you already know that Pokémon GO was that year's hottest mobile experience for kids and adults alike. But if you're more of a potions master than a Pokémaster, good news: J.K. Rowling's beloved Wizarding World is about to get the augmented reality game treatment.
Pokémon GO developer Niantic Labs has confirmed that it will be releasing an all-new, Harry Potter-themed AR mobile game sometime in 2018. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be co-developed with Warner Bros. Interactive and WB Games, and although we don't want to count our owls before they're delivered, we're predicting success on par with last year's Pokémania.
A 'Harry Potter GO' has been the subject of Internet rumours, prayers and accios for well over a year - we even shared a fan-made trailer back in August of 2016. However, today's confirmation from Niantic means the app is finally official. Even if you're not an avowed Potterhead, it's hard to hate on a game that, like Pokémon GO, will push users towards outdoor exploration, exercise, and real-life social interaction.
Fantastic games and how to play them
According to Niantic, Wizards Unite will allow players to explore wizard-fied versions of their neighbourhoods; learn and practice spells; find and fight (fantastic) beasts; and form alliances with fellow players. It's likely to be similar in game play to both Pokémon GO and previous Niantic title Ingress, transforming the real world into a 'global game board' to be navigated by wannabe wizards and witches.
Co-developer Warner Bros. Interactive is so serious about expanding its Wizarding World games series, it has launched a new label specifically for Potter products: Portkey Games. With Harry Potter being a tremendous money-spinner for the company, fans should expect Wizards Unite to be just the first in a series of real-world wizarding games bringing magic to your mobile.
We don't know any additional details just yet, but we assume Warner Bros. and Niantic will be working like house elves to get the game finished and released in the next year. Whether you're a wizard, muggle or Squib, we solemnly swear to keep you updated on any further Wizards Unite announcements.