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Niantic is Working on a Harry Potter AR Game for 2018

About a year ago, an enterprising YouTuber came up with an idea for what a hypothetical Harry Potter Go might look like if it were brought to life by Niantic, the people behind Pokemon Go. Turns out they may have just been ahead of the curve instead of hopeless dreamers.

Sadly, it’s not actually called Harry Potter Go, but rather Wizards Unite, according to TechCrunch. The important thing is that it’s very real, and being co-developed by Niantic and Warner Bros. Interactive subsidiary Portkey Games with an eye on a 2018 release.

As for a description of what to expect, here’s what TechCrunch says:

The app is now official, but the details are still scarce, with the launch timeframe of just sometime next year, but it sounds like there will be significant influence from the Niantic game Ingress, which allows players to roam the real world collecting power-ups, defending locations and exploring their environment.

That description also applies in large part to Pokemon Go, but one expects that Niantic would learn from some of the feedback it’s received from that game. At a bare minimum, you’d hope Wizards Unite has more social features built into it so that players actually have a reason to … well, unite.

There’s also the fact that Pokemon Go is driven by its IPs inherent focus on “catching ’em all,” adding a strong collecting element that isn’t a part of the Harry Potter world. That’s not to say that a mega popular AR game can’t be made without a reason to go out and collect stuff, but it definitely helps.

What Pokemon and Harry Potter definitely have in common is legions of fans who will at least download their games and try them out. We don’t know exactly when Wizards Unite is going to arrive next year, but expect it to shoot to the top of the app store charts when it does. And if Niantic and Portkey can infuse it with the right magic, it could stay there for a while, too.