Niantic, the minds behind Ingress and the smash hit Pokémon GO, have partnered with Warner Bros and WB Games to bring a new location-based Harry Potter-themed AR game to mobile phones. Called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the game will let you battle fantastic beasts in the same sort of world-scale arena as Pokémon GO.
According to a blog post announcing the game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lets players learn spells, explore real-world places, fight legendary beasts, and team up with others to take down the game’s powerful enemies.
Although details are still thin on the ground at this point, even if the game turns out to be a 1:1 reskinning of Pokémon GO, it’s sure to do some serious business in microtransactions based on the subject matter alone (who doesn’t want to be a wizard? also, why is my credit card bill so high this month?)
Pokémon GO’s battle sequences aren’t really what you can call ‘true’ augmented reality, as it only overlays images via pass-through camera with no positional tracking. You can’t, for example, run around a Pokémon while in the middle of the fight or run closer to it to get a better shot. Niantic says however they’ll be leveraging its entire Niantic Platform while also “pioneer[ing] all new technology and gameplay mechanics,” and with the release of ARKit from Apple and ARCore from Google, this may mean we actually get a ‘real’ AR game.
Not much else is known about the game, although Niantic says aspiring wizards should expected it sometime in 2018.