Niantic is shutting down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, developer Niantic’s augmented reality mobile game set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, is shutting down on Jan. 31, 2022. Niantic announced the game’s closure on the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite website, and promised players that they’ll get a narrative conclusion — Harry Potter and Hermione Granger will put an end to the in-game Calamity before Wizards Unite shuts down.
Niantic said it will remove Harry Potter: Wizards Unite from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Galaxy Store on Dec. 6. It will also end in-game purchases on that date.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launched in June 2020, and hoped to capture the magic of Niantic’s 2016 smash hit Pokémon Go using the Harry Potter license. In the game’s story, Wizards Unite begins somewhere after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After the Battle for Hogwarts, heroes Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermoine Granger join the Ministry of Magic, and during a period of calm in the wizarding community, magic starts appearing in the muggle world. That Calamity risks violation of the International Statute of Secrecy, an ancient law that kept magic a secret from non-wizards and witches after witches and wizards were persecuted in the 1600s.
But Wizards Unite seemingly didn’t find the same wide audience of Pokémon Go, or Niantic’s previous AR game, Ingress, to sustain itself. In a blog post, the Niantic team said, “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.”
The developer said it will take “all of the learnings from Harry Potter: Wizards Unite into our other projects.”
Niantic recently launched another augmented reality game, Pikmin Bloom, based on Nintendo’s Pikmin franchise. The company is also developing a project based on Hasbro’s Transformers property called Transformers: Heavy Metal, which will feature giant robot battles in AR. In total, Niantic says it has nine games and apps in its development pipeline, some of which will soft-launch in 2022.
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