In an interview with the Financial Times, John Hanke, Niantic’s CEO talked about the upcoming Pokémon GO release in China, Niantic’s plans, but also about their vision for Wizards Unite.
Accidentally, we also got a rough estimate of the release schedule — second half of 2018.
As the original article (source link at the bottom) is behind a paywall, we’re sharing select excerpts that relate directly to HP: Wizards Unite. If you want to read the whole article, you will unfortunately, have to find your way around Financial Times’ paywall.
The interesting portion of the article starts with Hanke highlighting how the Harry Potter franchise has the potential to appeal “across generations”:
The next big game Niantic has announced is based on the Harry Potter franchise. Mr Hanke said Niantic teamed up with Warner Bros to develop a Harry Potter title because, like Pokémon Go, it is a “real rarity” that has the potential to appeal “across generations”, to women as much as men, and to players all over the world.
Continuing, Hanke confirmed that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter lends itself well to AR:
“The ‘muggle’ world and the wizarding world are only separated by this thin veil,” Mr Hanke said. “It’s very easy for us to imaging bringing that kind of magic into our everyday lives . . . It would be much harder to bring a convincing Star Wars game into AR in any way that is not just a gimmick.”
And finally, Financial Times drops the release schedule bomb, but Hanke is swift to assure that Niantic is in a much better position now than it was during the launch of Pokémon GO:
The Harry Potter game is scheduled for release in the second half of 2018. Since Pokémon Go’s sometimes chaotic debut — in which servers were overloaded by demand, causing recurring service outages — Niantic is “so much better positioned” now, Mr Hanke said. The lessons from Pokémon Go were not just technical, though.
The article continues to discuss AR, AR Plus (a new feature in Pokémon GO) and Niantic’s approach to government and local municipalities and how much they’ve learned in the past year.
The following image can be used to share the news with your local group:
Realistically, our current speculation is as follows:
- release date somewhere in September, likely 01/09, as discussed in our previous article “The one about Wizards Unite release date”
- closed beta in early summer / late spring
What are your thoughts on the matter?