Pokemon GO’s spiritual AR successor is shutting down in early 2022

Pokemon GO’s spiritual AR successor is shutting down in early 2022
Niantic, the studio behind Pokemon GO, has been approached by Warner Bros. a few years ago for the launch of a game based on a huge franchise, which should involve similar AR (augmented reality) mechanics.

The game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite would eventually make its debut on Android and iOS back in 2019. Unfortunately, the game didn’t benefit from a warm reception Pokemon GO was met with at launch, and Niantic announced today that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be shutting down on January 31, 2022.

Based on the numbers released by app analytics firm Sensor Tower, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was nowhere near Pokemon GO when it comes to earnings. While Niantic’s hugely successful AR game is still making at least $1 billion per year, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite only made around $40 million since its debut two years ago.

The reason why Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s has failed to achieve success on an already crowded market might be the fact that it offers a narrative-driven experience rather than a sandbox formula. Also, many players have complained about the monetization model.

Niantic put up a blog post to announce the closure of the game: "Not all games are meant to last forever. Our goal with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was to bring the magic of the wizarding world to life for millions of players as they stepped outside and explored their neighborhoods. We accomplished that together, delivering a two-year narrative story arc that will soon complete."

That being said, those who haven’t tried the game yet will still be able to download Harry Potter: Wizards Unite until December 6, 2021, after which the game will be removed from the App Store, Google Play and Galaxy Store. Also, after that date, players will no longer be able to make in-game purchases. On January 31, 2022, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s servers will shut down.

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