Niantic is officially spreading its augmented reality success outside of Pokémon Go and into a new game. Pulling from another well-known and extremely successful franchise, the company’s next title, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, will launch in 2018.
Partnering with co-developers Warner Bros. Interactive and Portkey Games, Niantic is building a Harry Potter experience by translating the location-based AR of its former games into the wizarding world. Revealed in a blog post from Niantic CEO John Hanke, “players will learn spells, explore their real-world neighborhoods and cities to discover and fight legendary beasts, and team up with others to take down powerful enemies.”
Pokémon Go works similarly, as trainers catch powerful Pokémon to use in Gyms and raid battles, so it makes sense Niantic would plan to stick to its typical formula and only tweak according to what fits with the Harry Potter branding. Also, it could be speculated that recent comments on a new audio-based AR game from the company could, in fact, be Wizards Unite. Hanke finished the post saying the game “will leverage the full stack of the Niantic Platform while also providing an opportunity to pioneer all new technology and gameplay mechanics.”
News of Niantic creating a Harry Potter may not be too shocking, though. Last year Niantic’s CEO John Hanke revealed in an interview that the company had acquired the rights to a Harry Potter game, but after fans went wild expecting an AR game similar to Pokémon Go, Niantic shut down the rumors.
With the success of Pokémon Go, it’s likely Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be a home run, especially accounting for the millions of dedicated fans to the franchise that would love the chance to become a wizard. Of course, Niantic isn’t the only company putting established franchises into the mobile AR world. In August, AMC announced a Pokémon Go-style AR game based on its hit television series The Walking Dead would be arriving down the line.
Update: The text has been updated with new information since its initial posting.