Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Last year developer Niantic Labs gave a glimpse into what the future of augmented reality (AR) gaming could be with the wildly popular Pokémon Go. According to TechCrunch (opens in new tab), the studio is now preparing to attempt the same kind of success in 2018 with an augmented reality game based on the Harry Potter universe.
The game itself is reportedly called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and it's being made both by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new (and oh-so-appropriately named) brand Portkey Games.
You might recall that the fact-checking site Snopes (opens in new tab) debunked a rumor last year that Niantic was working on a Harry Potter game, but now it appears there was some truth to that rumor, after all. To its credit, Snopes allowed for some wiggle room:
"However, that doesn’t rule out a Harry Potter Go game eventually appearing, as Pokémon Go was first conceived as an April Fool’s Day hoax in 2014," Snopes says on its page for the "hoax."
In fact, it'd be interesting to learn if the idea for the game arose precisely because of this rumor.
Unfortunately, we currently know very little about the Harry Potter game aside from its title.
The rumors that are currently swirling around, though, suggest that it'll borrow a few ideas from Niantic's long-running game Ingress, which involves players roaming all over the real world while defending key sites and finding items. (Clearly, Niantic borrowed a few of Ingress' ideas for Pokémon Go as well.)
It could be cool. The Harry Potter universe is based on the idea that a parallel society packed with wizards and witches exists alongside our own, and that all kinds of magical places are hidden in plain sight. That's a vision that works extraordinarily well with the magic of augmented reality, especially now that newer smartphones like the iPhone X are eagerly embracing the technology.