Harry Potter fans rejoice — and lace up your sneakers! Niantic's latest augmented reality game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is out of beta and rolling out across the globe. Gamers from the US and UK are among the first to jump into the game.
The game is set in the Harry Potter universe but takes place many years after the events of the original books/films. The use of AR is absolutely fitting as the game story is all about an event referred to as "The Calamity" that has caused magic artifacts, beasts, and memories to start seeping into the Muggle world. You're tasked with exploring the world around you as you develop your magical skills and spells.
Wizards Unite is going to be a great excuse for millions of people to go for a walk and converge at parks and popular public spots around the world to have a little wizarding fun.
If you remember how incredible the first summer of Pokémon Go was — with hundreds of people meeting up in public parks to catch Pokémon and gripe about the servers being down again — Niantic and Portkey may very well create a similar craze with a hyped up Potter fanbase eager for new ways and mediums to experience the wizarding world of the Harry Potter universe. The augmented real-world mobile game genre has certainly expanded in the past three years, but Niantic has the advantage of all the gained wisdom and knowledge of operating massively immersive games on a global scale.
The latest Wizards Unite news
June 20, 2019 — Wizards Unite is now available to play in the US and UK
After giving the world a sneak peek earlier this week at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood, Niantic and Portkey have opted to start the rolled out launch of their latest game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite a day early for those living in the UK and US, joining New Zealand and Australia players who participated in beta testing. The game is expected to continue rolling out to more countries on the officially announced global launch date set for June 21.
If you live in the four countries mentioned above, you can check to see if the game is live for you in the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Meanwhile, those of us living elsewhere in the world are left patiently waiting for our country's number to be called.
For Android users, there may be the temptation to sideload the APK from a source like APK Mirror and see if you can check it out early. This is unadvisable unless you're willing to risk Niantic blacklisting your account. Going through the hassle of losing all that early game progression might not be worth sneaking early access to game.
January 8, 2019 — Latest teaser drops a few more clues
While Niantic is still swearing to secrecy when it comes to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the latest trailer drops some hints about what we can expect once the game launches. Previously, we learned that players will be entering the Muggle world to investigate traces of strange and potentially dangerous magical activity.
In the latest teaser, we see that a number of Nimbus 2000 brooms are flying around the world unmanned. It's not clear if the brooms are being controlled by someone or acting on their own accord, but what we do know is that they seem to leave traces of magic behind them. Knowing Niantic, players could be tasked with finding those traces to capture and file records about these strange happenings for the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Statute of Secrecy.
While Nimbus 2000 brooms were the subject of this trailer, the fact that this phenomenon was filed away as an individual event suggests other things in the Harry Potter universe could be featured. The previous teaser for the game showed a wizard capturing a golden snitch, after all, and with tons of mystical beasts, magical objects, and other things you'd only find in the world of wizardry, the sky is the limit on what you might find in your time playing the game.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is scheduled to arrive later this year, so expect more details to start flowing out as Niantic closes in on a release date.
November 14, 2018 — Harry Potter: Wizards Unite teaser trailer confirms delay until 2019
The official Harry Potter: Wizards Unite YouTube channel uploaded a new teaser trailer for the upcoming mobile game, and while it gives us an exciting glimpse of things to come, it also confirms that it's being delayed until some point in 2019.
In the teaser, we see a golden snitch flying around what appears to be the Muggle world. A wizard appears out of nowhere, grabs the snitch, and then slaps a poster on a while saying "The Wizarding World is at risk of exposure. We need your help. Wizards Unite." All of this is shown through the eyes of a security camera of some sort.
The description for the video provides a bit more detail, saying:
Why are traces of magic appearing in the Muggle world? Enlist immediately to help uphold the Statute of Secrecy and protect the wizarding world!
It's unclear when in 2019 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be released, but hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later.
All the big details
What is the game about?
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is another AR-based game that takes the winning formula of using your smartphone as a portal to a parallel world based in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises. The story picks up shortly after a strange calamity has caused creatures and artifacts from the wizarding world begin popping up in the Muggle world. You enter the fray as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, as a Ministry agent that's able to operate between the magical and Muggle world. As anyone should have expected, the game is centralized around visiting real-world locations to do battle with mythical beasts. You'll also need to check in at Inns to replenish your magical powers as you cast spells to send the magical artifacts and beings back to where they came from.
Based on the first impressions of the game, it does a pretty good job on delivering the essential stuff you'd want from a Harry Potter game — the power to casting magical spells with your wand and do other magical things like brewing potions and teaming up with friends for epic wizard battles! Y'know, your typical wizardly hangout stuff.
Right off the bat, Niantic is including real-time multiplayer combat which occurs in-game at Fortresses, where you can team up with friends to take on nasty foes including Death Eaters, Dementors, and evil wizards which also lets you send rarer Foundables back from whence they came. You'll also get to choose to specialize in a magical profession of your choice — Aurors, Magizoologists, and Professors — with each profession offering up unique skills and abilities that will become more useful in group battle situations the further along you progress.
When is the game coming to my country?
As of June 20, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available to download from the Google Play Store in the following countries:
- New Zealand
Niantic hasn't released any information on how they intend to continue to roll the game out across the globe, but it shouldn't be much of a wait. We'll keep this space updated as the global launch continues
Are you excited for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
Let us know in the comments and let us know what you'd love to see in an augmented reality game set in Harry Potter's magical world.
Updated June 2019: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has left beta and is officially launched and rolling out around the globe.
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