Harry Potter: Wizards Unite seems to be the game everyone spent the weekend signing up for but not the one they were spending money on. In the first 24 hours on both android and iOS combined it has been estimated that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite spending was just $300,000.
One can’t help but compare the launch of this game to its older brother Pokemon Go. In the first 24 for Pokemon Go the game had been downloaded 7.5 million times, versus 400,000 for Wizards Unite. It had also generated approximately $2 million in player spending. To make it even worse, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite actually released in more countries than Pokemon Go had at that point in its life.
Why are the numbers so low? Well…there are a few things that could be contributing to it. First, there’s the fact that Harry Potter doesn’t have the massive popularity that Pokemon does in Japan which is where Pokemon Go and Ingress both bring in a sizeable amount of their revenue. Having a game based on a Western IP isn’t instant money when you consider that in the Western audience players are less likely to spend money on mobile games.
There’s also the issue that current Pokemon Go players are less likely to play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Mobile phones, and the games themselves aren’t really designed for you to switch between games easily. It’s far more likely that you’ll pick one game and stick with it. Unless you’re a HUGE Harry Potter fan you’re more likely to play the game you’ve been playing, so not picking up that new game.
Finally, it also has to be considered that Harry Potter is an older IP now and the last movie wasn’t very well received. It’s quite possible that a lot of people have moved on from the series and so aren’t interested in playing the game.
Whatever the reason we will be keeping an eye on how Harry Potter: Wizards Unite performs into the future and we’ll have a review of it ready to go very soon.
Niantic, the creators of the massively popular Pokemon Go have started the slow release of their next location-based game, Harry Potter Wizards Unite in New Zealand. It is being called both a soft-launch and a beta, so it isn’t quite clear when the next rollout of the game will be, or where. Niantic has also warned that features, design, and the overall appearance of the game are all subject to change. The game may also be buggy and unstable at times.
You may be asking yourself what the difference is between Harry Potter Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go or even Ingress, the game Niantic made before they made Pokemon Go. Well, from the sounds of it there is going to be a bit more story, which is to say any really. The game has the same basic premise as Pokemon Go, go out into the world to find important items and people. But, according to Gamespot, it has a lot of similarities to a traditional RPG thanks to things like skill trees and potion brewing.
Android users around the world can currently pre-register for the game on Google Play. Also, if you’re an active Pokemon Go player you should have received an email from Niantic offering you the opportunity to reserve your username in Harry Potter Wizards Unite ahead of the launch so you’re guaranteed to have the same name in Pokemon Go and Harry Potter.
Hopefully, the release of Harry Potter Wizards Unite in New Zealand means that the game is very nearly ready for a global release. We’re in that sweet spot just before summer where the weather (for most of us at least) is getting warmer and being outside is preferable to being indoors.
The end of the year is upon us and it is time to start looking ahead to what will come in 2019. We asked the MMOGames writing team what their most anticipated online game of 2019 is and got a wide variety of responses from the team, including a couple of surprises. After you’ve read what our writers are looking forward to next year be sure to add what game you’re most anticipating in 2019.
Ethan “Isarii” Macfie – Anthem
I started liking Anthem as a joke – I’m dead serious. As the game’s announcement came only a few months after the launch of the immeasurably disappointing Mass Effect: Andromeda and was followed shortly thereafter by the Star Wars: Battlefront II monetization debacle, the idea of jumping aboard the hype train for EA-BioWare’s next big live service game felt like the absolute height of comedy.
My friends and I set up a Discord channel just to hype the game up ironically, sharing news and info as it came out with our most sardonic fervor. Then the strangest thing happened: the news we were sharing started to look _really_ good.
I’m not sure exactly when I boarded the Anthem hype train for real, but I know I’m on it now. I haven’t preordered the game and I’m constantly on watch for the other shoe to drop, but what we’ve seen and heard of the game’s world, its feature set, and even its monetization strategy all sound extremely promising. Maybe we’ll all get burned again, but at this point, I’m willing to at least hope that we won’t.
Nick Shively – We’ll See
When it comes to online, multiplayer games 2019 is not a year I’m expecting much from. There are a few titles that I’m mildly interested in that have multiplayer elements, such as Anthem, but there’s no single title that I’m actively waiting to be released. The last few years have been fairly stagnant in the MMORPG genre and it will still be a couple more until the droves of crowdfunding MMOs finally start launching.
That being said, it’s likely that Crowfall will see some sort of soft launch or early access by 2019, but the game has already had a number of delays with the beta being pushed back. It’s possible that we’ll hear more from Ascent: Infinite Realm, however, a 2019 release seems unlikely at this point. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the Magic: The Gathering MMO, but mostly because Cryptic has revealed little information so far. At this point in time, 2019 is more of a “wait and see” kind of year.
Phil DeMerchant – Project Zephyr
For 2019 my most anticipated game isn’t a massive blockbuster hit or even a massively multiplayer wonderland like 2017 and 18 have born. Instead, my focus is fully formed on Four Shore Entertainment and their little seasonal puzzle with a working title of Project Zephyr.
A season-based environmental platformer, Zephyr is one of the handful of indie games I got to demo this year at the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo. Despite only having the alpha of the tutorial level, Four Shore absolutely blew me away with the warm and tender art of their game. From winding forests to chittering monsters there was no square space of charm overlooked in this game’s wonderful art style. Gameplay was just as entertainingly charming; by utilizing a little golem’s season-changing abilities one could grow a pumpkin to use as a platform or freeze an enemy to use as a projectile ice block. The possibilities were absolutely endless, my own gameplay even surprising the demoing developer in how radically different I set about my puzzle solving.
Zephyr is a game with unimaginable potential, and with a project Q2 release in 2019, I cannot wait to finally sink my teeth into it all.
Taylor Hidalgo – The Division 2
Garbage flows into the streets of New York City, joining the fresh snow and the muck of dirt, sludge, bodies, and blood splashed gracelessly along the packed street. A single working strobe spins soundlessly into the hazy snowfall of the fading evening light. A casually dressed agent in a leather jacket dusts the snow off of their jacket, shoulders their rifle, and walks up the street.
Of the many things The Division did well, the most inescapable was the city. It was beautiful. It is beautiful, and there’s no escaping that beauty for even the slightest fraction of a second. New York, plagued by infection, flooded with aggression and bullets, filling the streets with terror, has remained my impossible benchmark for what a setting can do for a story—hazy, blizzardous, littered, messy, garish, chaotic, impossibly beautiful New York.
In the time since I’ve played, The Division has never captured my desire to shoulder my weapon, hurl a grenade, and dive into danger headlong. But in the quiet moments, I find myself wanting to revisit New York. The streets, though devoid of the foot traffic that surges in its non-digital counterpart, the plague-stricken streets are just quiet enough here to let the abandoned cars tell a story of frantic escape. The darkness that hangs in the alleyways promises gunfight in the dark crevices for anyone foolish enough to try to slip through the shadows. The distant barks, errant car alarms, occasional directionless gunfire, the chirping of a discarded cell phone… All of it assembled into this package promises a world full of life, albeit a hobbled one.
I find myself wanting to perch atop a squad car, rifle dangling casually down the rear window, and watch the snow gather on my jacket’s shoulders while New York breathes around me again. The hazardous Dark Zone in the distance promises me all the action I could ever want, a short helicopter ride can crashland me in the biggest blizzard New York can throw, a sprawling fight encompassing an army of agents sits in a distant corner of the city, but this car is all I really need. The snow grows as it collects on the jacket, on my gloves, on the car, and on the ground.
I am taken in with this place. Gunfire and all.
In the distance, past the overturned ambulances and the bullet-riddled squad cars, beyond the armored APCs and the glass-walled high-rises, Washington D.C. waits for another agent, for another crisis. D.C. promises to be more of everything I love. More city, more gorgeous intersections of reality and aesthetic fulfillment. Sure, also more gunfights and danger, but the real siren call is another city. A new place to sink into. I cannot wait to destroy its art museums as I hurl myself through another fight to reclaim humanity. The Division 2 is just down that street, a short jaunt away, and I’m so excited to crawl its streets.
My agent stands, and together we descend the stairs and pass through the curtain of an overhead sprinkler. The snow on my jacket joins the spray and drips to its final resting place on the cheap tile of a subway. Deeper into this darkness leads to an airport.
Next time you see us, we’ll be in D.C.
Shannon Doyle – Rapture Rejects
If I’m completely honest I’ve found myself falling out of love with online gaming in recent years and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Sure, online gaming is more popular than it ever has been before but the communities that made online games so great seem to have died. I do of course continue to hold a torch up for the City of Heroes spiritual successors. I’ll be giving those a try as soon as they come out, I’m just not sure that will be in 2019. We saw Dual Universe at Gamescom a number of years ago and it has intrigued me from the very first time we walked past their booth. But once again, Dual Universe isn’t expected to release until 2020 at the earliest.
So right now I suppose my most anticipated game of 2019 is…Rapture Rejects. Normally I’m not one to play Battle Royale games but there’s a special place in my heart for blasphemous comedy in video game form. During their free to play weekend I was having a blast and since then I’ve been squeezing in a match or two when I can. It’s a lot of fun and it doesn’t feel super serious like other games in the genre. Casual friendly even? Ehh…only if you don’t mind dying a lot. I’m also following Harry Potter Wizards Unite, the mobile game being made by the same folks behind Pokemon Go. Will it come out in 2019? Actually, yeah, I think it might. I’m just wondering how I’m going to jump between Ingress, Pokemon Go, and Harry Potter. Maybe Santa will bring me a third phone for Christmas.
Jonathan Doyle – Anthem
Everyone has their own ways of writing. When I was posed the question of my upcoming pick for 2019 I went to the playlist so I could let my thoughts run free.
The thing is the playlist came around to Muse and I can’t shift the association in my mind anymore. Anthem played a blinder with the reworking of Muse’s Uprising in the cinematic trailer.
It may be stupid to let that be the thing that draws my attention but I can’t help it. I know it won’t be like other Bioware games. I know how utterly bad I am at Destiny. I know that there will be plenty of other games vying for my attention when we finally get to grips with Anthem … but it grabbed my attention in a very definite way.
It won’t last, love affairs never do. I fully admit it’s a love affair with the idea of a Bioware game, my heart is drawn by their mastery in cinematic presentation beyond whatever the game may actually be. Until there is heartbreak or affirmation though, all I have is that impression in this ongoing love affair. The possibility that Anthem will bring me the right blend of gameplay, story and a world that I can lose myself in.
The trailer ends with a simple lyric. We will be victorious.
I believe it when Muse says it…as for Bioware? I remain hopeful. Hopefully, they will be victorious. If not? Well, maybe we’ll also get to move on from the Destiny like shooter games in the MMO space. Either way, I am victorious even if EA is not.
What happens when you hand Niantic, the makers of Pokemon Go, the keys to the wizarding world? You get Harry Potter: Wizards Unite…or at least you will in 2019. A Harry Potter: Wizards Unite new logo has been revealed on Pottermore, the website for all things Harry Potter. The logo, seen below, features three very familiar wands, the ones that belong to Harry, Hermione, and Ron. It also combines the fonts from the logos for the Harry Potter movies and The Fantastic Beast movies which are similar but still quite different. It looks like the game will include elements from both.
The game, which is being created in a collaboration between WB Games and Niantic will be released under the Portkey Games label. It was initially set to launch sometime in 2018, but, with very little of the year left it would seem we’ll be waiting until next year. Very little is actually known about the game at this stage but Niantic has said players will be exploring real-world neighborhoods, casting spells, discovering artifacts, and encountering fantastic beasts along with iconic characters. Sounds a whole lot like Pokemon Go but in Harry Potter’s universe.
Hopefully, we’ll be getting more information about the game very soon. Until then though, we at least have Niantic’s two other games to keep us busy. Ingress just recently released Ingress Prime, a shiny new updated version of the game. While Pokemon Go announced that today there would be big changes coming to the game and new evolutions for Pokemon are set to be released very soon. Pokemon Go is also still smashing its own records for revenue. All in all, it’s a great time to be Niantic.
We can’t wait for more information on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and as soon as we do you’ll be able to find it here.
It’s not a firm release date, but a Harry Potter: Wizards Unite release window is just about as good. Unless you’re excited beyond words for the mobile AR game. In any case, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke has let at least a couple of beans spill.
Unfortunately, the release window in question is rather wide. Citing a story in the paywall-hidden Financial Times, Comicbook.com has reported that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is eyeing a release sometime in the second half of 2018.
Hanke has promised that the rollout of Wizards will go smoother than 2016’s Pokemon GO as a result of experience. “In terms of dealing with public locations, government policy, regulations and public reaction to people being out in the real world, we have built up our expertise there,” said Hanke. The CEO is also promising that problems will be more swiftly handled this time around.
Additional details are currently unavailable, including scope of release and devices that will be supported.
We honestly weren’t really expecting this one to come out this year at all, let alone the nebulous window of 2018’s second half. While Hanke’s promises certainly nod to recognition of PoGo’s meteoric rise and fall, we’ll wait and see until things actually play out this time around.
Here we are at the end of another year of gaming. It certainly had its ups and downs, just take a look at the most popular news stories to see. 2018 is already starting to look incredibly exciting so we asked the writers and Editorial team at MMOGames what their most anticipated MMO of 2018 is.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit about my most anticipated MMO of 2018 recently and I have honestly come to the conclusion that I’m not really “hyped” for anything. MMOs are definitely in a strange place at the moment, but that being said, there is certainly some intriguing stuff on the horizon. Crowfall, Chronicles of Elyria, and Ascent: Infinite Realm are all games I will be watching closely. However, my most anticipated MMO is still World of Warcraft. It is my MMORPG home, and I will definitely be playing Battle For Azeroth. Anduin is cool now, okay?
The MMO that I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is one that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time: Crowfall. It’s finally to the stage where the actual game is going to start coming together. Until this point, ArtCraft has been building a foundation for a potentially great game, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of interesting content to playtest. Crowfall was expected to soft launch in 2017 but that wasn’t to be the case and honestly, I wasn’t really surprised at the delay. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the game, but I don’t mind waiting for it to be polished and we should see some type of public release in 2018.
I’m really looking forward to Dual Universe – it might be a worthy competitor for Star Citizen. It may also pave the way for more sandbox MMORPGs, and honestly, we can’t have enough of those. It’ll give the players a chance to forge their own alliances and write their own story rather than having the game write it for them, and honestly, I think that’s the way MMOs should be heading.
My most anticipated for 2018 has to be Crowfall. I am not personally invested in the PvP side of things which may make the pick very odd but I can’t wait to see it all come together. There’ve been a few crowdfunded MMOs in recent memory but this is the one that always sticks in memory for me between the technology used, the pedigree behind it and the potential of it all going forward. All of that, but come on, we know the real reason why Crowfall will be the game of 2018. The world loves Porgs at the moment. Guineceans, your moment is now. Come up from your burrows, holster those pistols and let the world see your glory.
The MMO I’m most anticipating in 2018 is Stardew Valley multiplayer. What? That isn’t an MMO? Well, it should be. Okay, okay…the game I’m actually most looking forward to is only very loosely an MMO, it’s Niantic’s Harry Potter Wizards Unite. A mobile game that follows in the footsteps of Ingress and Pokemon Go before it. I’ve been a big fan of Ingress since it was announced back in 2013. I was also one of the legions of fans who tried out Pokemon Go when it first came out. I still have the game installed on my phone but living so far from a city, I don’t really play it. My hope is that Niantic learns from Pokemon Go and takes inspiration from Ingress to make a game that people can really enjoy wherever they are, even if they don’t have a Pokestop nearby. I also hope that it is embraced by the world the way Pokemon Go was, but maybe this time they’ll stick around? At least if things don’t go well, I’ll still have Stardew Valley multiplayer.
My most anticipated online game for 2018? I’ll optimistically go with Crowfall. I’m not doing so many MMOs these days (call it a holdover from my time in Japan that emphasized local multiplayer), but the idea of a “lobby game” which has a persistent lobby feels right. I loved the old World of Warcraft Alterac Valley map when each BG match took at least a day or longer to complete. It had that world PvP feel without people complaining about getting “ganked” when they clearly chose a PVP server. I’m more on console so it may not stick, but hey, Overwatch gets my attention, and I largely play that solo despite owning it on PS4 as well.
Actually, no, I’m full of it. 2018 in MMO gaming can certainly seem piecemeal, but ultimately there are more than a few titles that tipped their hats at us this year that have me looking forward to the next year in my beloved genre. After considering several of them, my mind keeps going back to one title in particular that always stands out to me: Crowfall.
Not only does this one feel like a PvP sandbox that I could probably stomach, it also appears to be one that actually wants me – the softest of sheep – to play the way I want to play in terms of crafting. Crafters are valued and necessary to the war effort and that’s more than most MMOs out now can say. Plus the game’s style of RvR has me intrigued to see if Crowfall is the missing piece to make me fully appreciate sandbox-style MMOs.
To the point of 2018, I think we’ll start to see crowdfunded games finally wrap development and release, further legitimizing crowdfunding as an honest way to make dream titles come true and not another winking scam artist looking to cash in.
Except for Star Citizen. That damn thing’s never coming out.
You may have seen there was a bit of a theme for MMOGames’ most anticipated MMO of 2018. There’s a whole lot of hype for Crowfall. There was also a lot of discussion about crowdfunding and the future. There’ll be even more of it in our predictions for 2018, which will be out after Christmas.
Things had been pretty slow for a while but this week more than made up for it! So many new titles have been announced ahead of G-Star next week.
First though, we say goodbye to PvP action game Battlerite which has launched. We’ve also taken MU Legend off the list since it is now in Open Beta testing, which is more like a soft launch.
Closers has made the move to Closed Beta. It will run from November 7th to December 5th and if you’d like to take part you’ll want to pick up a Founder’s Pack.
OrbusVR will be having a headstart Early Access starting on December 13th. There will be no further wipes or rollbacks made, so it is effectively a soft launch.
With all of that out of the way, we can dive into the newly announced games.
Niantic, the people who made Ingress and Pokemon Go, have announced they’re working on a Harry Potter mobile MMOARG similar to Pokemon Go. It’s being called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and you can sign up for the beta now on the official site.
Netmarble revealed they’re working on a mobile MMO in the Blade & Soul universe. This one is called Blade & Soul Revolution and shouldn’t be confused with NCSoft’s Blade & Soul 2, which was also announced this week and is also a mobile game.
That wasn’t all NCSoft announced on their Media Day this week. They also revealed they’re working on an Aion prequel called Aion Tempest which is, as you may have guessed…a mobile game. We are starting to see a pattern here.
Meanwhile, ChangYou has teased a few titles ahead of G-Star. They’ve got God Slayer Online, which has previously been in beta testing but things went quiet on. They’ve also announced an MMORPG called Project Z Online. All we know about it so far is that classes won’t be gender locked and it uses classic tab targeting.
Finally, there is Bluehole and Kakao’s Project W, which we now know is called Ascent: Infinite Realm or A:IR for short. The trailer for the game looks AMAZING, you can find it lower down in this article. Expect to see the first closed beta for this title in the first half of 2018.
Pretty amazing week, right!? The hype for G-Star is alive and well at MMOGames. We’ll be reporting on the event as it happens next week from November 16th to the 19th.
As always you can see everything mentioned above and so much more in the list below. Just keep an eye out for the new flag to see what was added this week.
We thought that Maguss was a pretty good stand-in, but it looks like Niantic will grant us the real thing: in short, a Harry Potter mobile AR title, or perhaps more colloquially Harry Potter GO, is on the way.
The actual name of the game is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. In the initial reveal, Niantic promised players the opportunity to “learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies”.
“Almost five years ago Niantic launched Ingress, our first augmented reality mobile game,” opens the announcement. “Pokémon GO brought that vision to the world at unprecedented scale and served as a catalyst for the further development of the Niantic platform. We’re thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WB Games San Francisco’s development team to bring this magical and beloved series to life in a brand new way.”
A timeline for the game’s release was not part of the announcement, though the post does invite fans to follow either Niantic’s social channels or the ones created for the game itself. There’s also a new website created that lets players sign up for a newsletter.
We’re both a combination of extremely excited and highly skeptical: on the one hand, Harry Potter does feel like the kind of IP that would translate brilliantly to a mobile AR game. On the other hand, Niantic wasn’t exactly a shining star in terms of game launches and regular updates with Pokemon GO. Still, here’s hoping this game will have a smoother and more feature complete launch and will signal another benevolent epidemic.