2018 will be a great year for fans of the Harry Potter universe. There will be at least two games related to Harry Potter coming in 2018, as well as a full feature movie. Out of these all, I believe that one in particular is set to shine and has the potential to be a massive hit.
I am talking about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. This will be a free to play mobile game created by Pokemon Go developers Niantic in collaboration with Portkey Games, a new gaming development studio set up by Warner Bros themselves. The latter are also working on other games set in the Harry Potter universe, so their involvement might be minimal.
But even so, Niantic definitely know what has to be done and have the experience of developing one of the most successful games ever – Pokemon Go.
Why am I so confident that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be a hit and not a bust as many people fear it will be?
Wizards Unite will be a game that will borrow a lot from Pokemon Go and Niantic’s other game, Ingress. It can’t be otherwise, because we’ll get a wizardry-themed mobile game that goes the augmented reality route and sees us casting spells, capturing important landmarks around us and much more.
As the game’s fansite Augmented Wizards notes, the game has the potential to become bigger than even Pokemon Go just because Harry Potter is a much more popular franchise. And even though everybody and their mother played Pokemon Go because everybody else did, with Wizards Unite there’s an even bigger fan base to kickstart things.
The only thing that Niantic and Portkey games have to do is to make sure that they’re not sending our way a Pokemon Go clone. Which is the biggest challenge in my opinion, because it’s very different to come up with something completely different.
But mixing Pokemon Go concepts with Ingress mechanics and updating them, introducing at least a few new features can result in a completely unique and different experience, something mindblowing and original, despite the fact that it borrows bits and pieces from other games.
But it’s better to take things that work well and mix them together than go wrong with a lot of new things. We do need innovation, but similar mechanics to other games won’t result in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite becoming a bust.
We have little in terms of details right now about the upcoming game and the developers probably went this route just to see the initial reaction and check out the expectations of players.
And so far, they have both been really good: the initial reaction was positive, while good suggestions popped up everywhere, from reasons why Voldemort shouldn’t be in the game, to more complex beasts recommendations, gameplay mechanics recommendations and so on. Reddit is a good place to check these out, just like the aforementioned fansite is.
And if the fans themselves have so many ideas about what the game should do and how it should look like, I am sure that Niantic and Portkey Games have the resources and skill to make that happen. And this is why I believe that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has all the required ingredients to become one of the biggest games to be launched in 2018. I am sure that there’s an army of fans that has similar hopes to mine.
We’re also going to receive at least two more Harry Potter-related games: an RPG mobile game with a rich story is also under development at Portkey Games, in collaboration with Jam City. The game will be called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, but unfortunately it doesn’t make me feel a lot for it. Jam City isn’t known for developing extremely complex titles and I am sure in this case that we’re going to get your regular RPG that tries to milk some extra money off the franchise.
And finally, everything will be rounded up in November 2018, when a new Fantastic Beasts movie is set to hit the cinemas worldwide. That’s surely going to be a massive hit – at least in terms of box office earnings – but I still trust Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and its potential to be the biggest surprise of the year.
What do you feel about the game, though? Do you think it will manage to become more than a Pokemon Go clone and deliver a unique, interesting experience? Let the world know by sharing your thoughts below!