Two acquisitions by Niantic over the past few months may have an impact on Harry Potter Wizards Unite.
Niantic Acquired Escher Reality
On Feb 1, 2018, Niantic Labs announced the purchase of Escher Reality, a small six-person company focused on «persistent, cross-platform, multi-user experiences.»
So why is this important?
Well, Escher’s major product is Augmented Reality (AR) technology that allows players on multiple phones to interact with the same virtual objects at the same time.
They specialize in multiplayer AR and allow users to interact with digital objects in real life.
With their technology, you can place a digital object in a physical location and someone else can come across it regardless of the time that’s passed by or whether they have an iOS or Android device.
It can essentially lead to a giant game of hide-and-seek.
This can be used in many different ways within the Harry Potter realm. One idea is to apply this technology towards finding Horcruxes. This is what the Golden Trio spent much of their time doing and with the recent invention of quests in Pokémon GO, it may not be too far of a stretch.
There are only a handful of things confirmed within the game, but it is interesting to think about how AR will be incorporated.
Even more intriguing is the idea of AR battling.
Escher Reality has the proven ability to make simple cross-functional AR games such as the one below. But can they handle a significant battling system such as a wizard duel?
Or perhaps this technology won’t apply to Wizards Unite at all, but instead, be focused on Pokémon GO.
In an interview, Niantic said:
«The addition of the Escher AR technology is incredibly exciting to us at Niantic as it significantly accelerates our work on persistent, shared AR as part of the Niantic real-world application platform. It’s our intention to make our cross-platform AR technology available more widely to developers later this year. Stay tuned for information on developer availability.»
While the purchase of Escher Reality is intriguing, it’s not Niantic’s first major purchase. That title goes to Evertoon.
Niantic Acquires Evertoon
In November 2017, Niantic purchased Evertoon, a five-person team focused on «adding social mechanics to digital products»
Evertoon’s greatest strengths lie in these three things:
- Creating in-game messaging
- Creating technology to let people turn themselves into 3D avatars
- Changing expressions of these characters
As you may already know, Niantic’s first game, Ingress, has in-game messaging but Pokemon GO does not.
Looking at the franchises as a whole, Pokémon and Harry Potter have very similar demographics so it’s unlikely in-game messaging will be incorporated into Wizards Unite.
So questions we have for you are:
- Would you like your Avatar to be made from a picture your face?
- Do you think in-game messaging should be incorporated?
- And what would you like to find in the game?
Leave your comments down below and make sure to check back for more Harry Potter news!