Harry Potter GO And The Problem Of Retaining An Audience

Pokemon GO ruled 2016. The game, produced by Niantic, claimed over 750 million downloads and generated an insane amount of hype last year. Now, however, the fad passed and only dedicated fans remain active players. So far the developer only released two games, Pokemon GO and Ingress, but news officially came from Niantic on November 8th that work started on a new game, Harry Potter: Wizards United.

Harry Potter: Wizards United is expected to be released in 2018, with no specified launch date. Warner Bros. and Niantic teamed up to develop this new adventure. Players take the role of a wizard and, much like in Pokemon GO, explore their communities and surroundings while staring at their phones trying not to trip. In exploring their environment players can discover spells, battle mythical beasts, and avoid trespassing.

Image result for pokemon go no trespassing

The massive popularity of Pokemon GO seems to suggest a bright future for Niantic’s new title, but we suspect that reality may betray expectation. Since the release of Pokemon GO the amount of active players roughly halved. Current levels of player activity may better indicate the future success of Harry Potter: Wizards United. 

A large part of why Pokemon GO was successful was the technology behind it. While Niantic’s first game Ingress, released in 2012, made use of the company’s AR technology, most people had never heard of the game. When word got out that Niantic and The Pokemon Company started collaborating on a game , Niantic became a hot topic.

The group’s AR technology seemed like a step in the right direction for the future of games and technology. Both Pokemon fans and the rest of society longingly waited for the July 6th release date, anticipating the amazing experience AR technology would provide them.

That hype is over now, though. People experienced AR and it soon lost its novelty. As such, Harry Potter: Wizards United will not receive the same buzz that Pokemon GO did – most Harry Potter fans will download the game as soon as it’s released, but non-fans already saw what mobile AR can offer.

Mobile AR, at least in its current form, has had many issues with battery draining, real time updating, and other general bugs. These technical issues, though, small on there own, when combined provide sufficient frustration for individuals to opt out of mobile AR games.

Unless Harry Potter: Wizards Unite features significant technical improvements we can’t imagine it generating the same amount of attention or support as its predecessor.