Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
|Harry Potter: Wizards Unite|
|Release||June 21, 2019|
|Genre(s)||Augmented reality, location-based game|
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco, and published by Niantic, under license from Portkey Games. The game is based on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter franchise created by J. K. Rowling. It was launched for Android and iOS mobile devices on 21 June 2019. A beta version was released in New Zealand in April 2019, and in Australia in May 2019.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was announced on November 8, 2017, as an augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco. Players are able to visit real-world locations while casting spells, discovering mysterious artefacts, and encountering iconic characters and legendary beasts from the Harry Potter universe. The game draws inspiration from previous AR games Pokémon GO and Ingress.
With Niantic's purchase of Escher Reality, the game is expected to implement new technology to allow for persistent worlds within AR. On November 14, 2018, it was confirmed that the game would be released in 2019.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay has been described as similar to that of Pokémon Go, with players able to view the gameplay world through a smartphone. The game allows players to fight against mythical beasts from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise. Players may choose their wizarding house, their wand, and their profession: either Professor, Auror or Magizoologist.
After creating a game account, the player makes an avatar, whose location depends on the device's geographical location. The player then travels around the real world to find “confounded” items and creatures, and “unconfound” them. The player can also stop at inns (to replenish spell energy), greenhouses (to gain potion ingredients and grow new ingredients), and fortresses (to fight dark wizards and beasts). As the player moves within their real world surroundings, their avatar moves within the game's map.
In April 2020, Wizards Unite introduced the Knight Bus which allows players to participate in magical challenges in virtual fortresses regardless of their physical location, an answer to the worldwide lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The feature will stay even after the pandemic.
A first gameplay video for the game was released in March 2019, showing footage defending from a Dementor, and being attacked by a Werewolf. On March 11, 2019, pre-registration on Google Play opened for the app as well as new in-game footage was released by Niantic. On April 17, 2019 the game was beta released in New Zealand. On April 24, 2019, an email was sent in error stating that the game would launch in Australia for beta testing. On April 26, 2019, the game launched in Australia for beta testing. But several hours later, Niantic confirmed it was another mistake and it was taken down from the App Store. The game was re-released in Australia on May 2, 2019. The game was released in the US and the UK on June 20, 2019, a day earlier than previously announced, with additional countries expected to gain access in the days ahead.
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