Avada Kadavra! Niantic just cast the killing curse on “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.”
The augmented reality (AR) mobile game set in J.K. Rowlings “Harry Potter” wizarding world is coming to an end. Niantic will remove the game it co-developed with Time Warner Inc.’s US:TWX WB Games from Apple’s
App Store, Alphabet’s
Google Play and the Galaxy Store on Dec. 6. Current players won’t be able to make in-game purchases as of Dec. 6, either, but they can keep playing out the story through Jan. 31, 2022.
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” was modeled after Niantic’s smash hits “Ingress” and “Pokémon Go,” which tap a smartphone’s camera and GPS to turn the real world into a global game board. Whereas “Go” lets players more or less “hunt” Pokémon in the real world via their screens, “Wizards Unite” put a “Harry Potter” skin on the concept, allowing players to find and fight the legendary beasts and dark wizards from the fantasy series while exploring their surroundings.
Alas, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” didn’t quite capture the magic or the audience of “Pokémon Go.” While “Go” caught almost $1 billion this year alone, according to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower, “Wizards Unite” has only conjured $4.7 million from player spending this year, and $40 million since its June 2019 launch.
“When we launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, our vision was to allow players to experience the wizarding world right in their real-world surroundings as they stepped outside and explored their neighborhoods,” the developers said in a blog post.
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is an augmented reality game set in the “Harry Potter” universe that is shutting down.
The statement noted that the game will officially close. But the overarching story, which sees Harry Potter and Hermione Granger ending a “calamity” and finding five notable wizards who have gone missing, will be wrapped up before the game goes offline for good.
What’s more, the developers are adding more generous in-game bonuses so that players can wrap up the story line. They will need to spend their remaining in-game currency before the game shuts down, and they will not be able to get a refund on past purchases, except where otherwise required by law.