Niantic casts AR spells with new Harry Potter partnership

Niantic casts AR spells with new Harry Potter partnership
Sean Cleaver

By Sean Cleaver

November 9th 2017 at 7:13AM

You’re a wizard, Harry. Not a Pokemon

Pokemon Go developer Niantic has joined up with Warner Bros and its WB Games San Francisco studio to start work on a new Harry Potter AR game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

The game will be developed under the pseudonym Portkey Games (we see what you did there) but it will not able to teleport you using a floo network. However, it will use the AR geo-positioning technology that Niantic made famous with Pokemon Go.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be an AR experience that will have budding wizards “exploring real-world neighbourhoods and cities across the globe” so that they can “go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artefacts, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters.”

Niantic could well have struck gold for a second time with the deal. Pokemon Go at its height had around 30 million users and Harry Potter fans globally continue to spend money on the franchise. The movie franchise alone, before the most recent addition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has made over $7 billion for Warner Bros.

“At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them,” said Niantic CEO, John Hanke. “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”

“With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way,” added Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president, David Haddad. “It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”

We can only guess at what the game will contain but the prospect of walking around a city, uncovering beasts and levelling up spells to face other wizards is an exciting one. We’ll see you down the road and hopefully challenge you to a duel.