Harry Potter: Wizards Unite looks to expand on the Pokemon GO formula
We've known for a while that the next major franchise to get the Ingress AR-game treatment following the massive (initial) success of Pokemon GO would be the Harry Potter universe. Now, Niantic has given us some info on what to expect from Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and it looks like it's going to seriously expand on the Pokemon GO formula.
The teaser video Niantic released (below) doesn't give a lot of info, but the page set up breaks down how the game is expected to work. Essentially, rather than going around the world and capturing Pokemon, you'll be searching for "Foundables" in the Muggle/No-Maj world and use spells to send them back to the magical world. Beyond that, you'll be able to collect ingredients to make Potions, engage in real-time multiplayer battles against enemies, including Death Eaters, boggarts, and Dementors, and find Portkeys that will take you to fully realized AR versions of famous Harry Potter locations, like Olivander's Wand Shop.
And that's not all because this is meant to be more of a multiplayer experience (like Ingress) than Pokemon GO. So, you'll be able to specialize in different types of magic, such as Aurors, Magizoologists, and Professors -- which will have different skills to be used in "Wizarding Challenges," although it's unclear what those challenges will be. All of this is to avoid "The Calamity" that threatens the magical and Muggle worlds alike.
Overall, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite sounds much more like the fully-fledged MMORPG that Niantic hoped Ingress would be (although it never quite got the "massively" part of the equation) and less like the massively played collectathon that was Pokemon GO (which never quite got the "multiplayer" bit down during its initially massive popularity spike). If Niantic can pull it off, it'll be quite impressive.
There's no word yet on when the game will be released, but it is expected this year. If you're on iOS, you'll have to keep an eye out for updates, but if you're on Android, you can pre-register via Google Play and get notified when the game is released.