Although “Pokémon Go” continues to see active play around the world on mobile devices since it debuted back in 2016, the primary developers of the Nintendo-branded game spinoff at Niantic could still remember the epic numbers the app pulled on its first few months, in terms of players and in-game transactions. They have since developed a new mobile app based on J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” franchise, which started releasing last Friday. Based on whether or not Niantic’s latest project could take off with the mobile gaming community, the earliest signs point to eager players and revenue earning.
Gamespot reports that “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is shaping up to be a new mobile app success for Niantic with another major licensed franchise. The game officially debuted on the major markets of the US and UK last June 21, following beta tests on Australia and New Zealand in months past. Gameplay for the new title borrows common elements from “Pokémon Go.” But rather than just catching randomly appearing pocket monsters on the GPS-synched overworld map, players of “Wizards Unite” must work to keep secret the Wizarding World from Muggles. And the first 24 hours of release has seen 400,000 game installations on both Google Play and App Store.
Based strictly on numbers, that is not quite as beefy as the first few days of “Pokémon Go.” And that includes the revenue side. Where the 2016 mobile juggernaut pulled $2 million in its first official day, “Wizards Unite” only managed $300,000. But in comparison to the average app release it is still a hefty gross for Niantic. It helps perhaps that Apple is currently putting the app front and center on its iOS App Store. Add the universal appeal for the fictional universe created by Rowling and brought to cinemas by Warner Bros., and the rest is easy player recognition.
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” casts players in the role of Witches and Wizards around the world. Normally living secretly and separately from non-magical “Muggles” (British) or “No-Majes” (American), they are roped in by magical ministries to help with a breakout of secrecy violations that threaten to expose magic to the world. Players must capture magical creatures (a la Pokémon), battle Dark Wizards and dispel conspicuous magic phenomenon they find in the game world. “Wizards Unite” also takes place during the epilogue of “Harry Potter,” with an adult Harry, Hermione and other characters appearing to give advice and tips to players.
Not everything is perfect though. Forbes has it that some players are iffy on the “Energy” gameplay mechanic. One Energy point is expended for every action, with recovery available only upon level-ups and resting at game inns (like the Poke-stops).
Images: Apple Insider, UploadVR, Forbes