Pokemon Go took the world by storm when it launched last year, and while growth has slowed the game has still generated revenues well over $1 billion. Niantic is hoping to continue its winning streak, and it may be able to do just that thanks to the powerful Harry Potter license. Techcrunch is reporting that Niantic has entered into a partnership with Warner Bros to create a new AR game in the Harry Potter universe, set to launch next year.
The project had been rumored and debunked at one point but now it's official, Techcrunch says. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub brand Portkey Games. Details are thin right now, but it's easy to make parallels between Pokemon Go and its factions and Harry Potter's different houses; it's likely something Niantic will leverage in the upcoming AR title.
We've reached out to Niantic for further comment and details and we'll update once we have more. There aren't many IPs in the world that can rival the popularity of Pokemon, but Harry Potter certainly ranks among them. This could end up being a major deal for both Niantic and Warner Bros.
Update: Niantic and Warner Bros have now sent around the official press release. Niantic will be working specifically with the WB Games San Francisco studio to build an experience that has players "exploring real-world neighborhoods and cities across the globe [to] go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artifacts, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters."
John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, said: “At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them. The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we'll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”