'Wizards Unite': Harry Potter Portkey Games Teases 'Pokémon GO'-style App
Attention Wizarding World: The “Pokémon GO, but Harry Potter” game for smartphones is finally coming in 2019. Niantic and Warner Bros’ Portkey Games just unveiled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an augmented reality game for mobile devices with a confusing teaser trailer that hints at how the gameplay will work.
On Wednesday, Niantic and Warner Bros. unleashed the announcement teaser for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Much like Niantic’s blockbuster 2016 game Pokémon GO, it’s another augmented reality experience for mobile devices that will encourage players to physically explore the outdoors.
Unlike Pokémon GO, a franchise with a built-in premise on catching wild Pokémon, Wizards Unite will have players look for “traces of magic” seeping into the world of Muggles (wizard speak for the regular non-magic world). While players of Pokémon GO were Pokémon Trainers, players of Wizards Unite will be new recruits in the “Statute of Secrecy Task Force,” a unit created in partnership between the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards.
The magic finding its way out is called “the Calamity.” The game further hints that Wizards Unite is canon and takes place after Lord Voldemort’s attack on Hogwarts, which the game calls “the worst of times since You Know Who.”
Here’s the official description of the game, via a newly-launched website for Wizards Unite:
“The Ministry is looking for witches and wizards willing to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to save the wizarding world from the Calamity. As a member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force (a new task force formed in partnership between the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards) you will hone lightning fast wand reflexes, an ability to sniff out the faintest whiff of magical disorder from afar, and proficiency in advanced casting of multiple spells.”
Little else is known of Wizards Unite, as the trailer only teases the basic premise and doesn’t include actual gameplay footage. It’s also a lot shorter than that epic Pokémon GO trailer released a few years ago, which had Pokémon battles and a legit Mewtwo battle in the middle of Times Square — two features that were visibly missing from the actual game at launch.
Niantic is probably hoping to temper expectations of what is basically “Harry Potter GO.” Hopefully, when the game does launch next year, it will give Potter fanatics a chance to meet up by the dozen like Pokémon GO did back in 2016.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be released in 2019.