Now it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Niantic Labs may or may not be pushing through games other than Pokemon GO. While this mobile AR title continues to generate users and profits, other field trips have failed to take root and achieved the same level of success. This includes not only the original Ingress title, but also a game that hasn’t even fully launched yet. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite apparently lost the fight too, and will go dark in about three months.
To be honest, it’s a bit of a miracle the game lasted so long after it was released in mid-2019. The Harry Potter mansion is gigantic, of course, and a great cash cow for those who can successfully milk it. However, this has not always been the case with many of these products, especially games that failed to capture and deliver the same magical experience as books, movies, and some toys.
Unfortunately, that happened to the version of the game by Niantic Labs, perhaps to the surprise of few. Wizards Unite has primarily been criticized for being a newly skinned Pokemon GO that reuses much of the same mechanics, except for the different gestures used to cast spells. The timing of its introduction, just a few months before the pandemic broke out, didn’t give it so much to evolve and break free of this form.
Then there was the problem of the narrative. Unlike Pokemon GO, which is based on an open lore, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite revolved around a specific event and stories around that event. You can only stretch this story that long, definitely not beyond two years.
And so is Niantic Labs finally announce that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite ends on January 31st, 2022, giving players plenty of time to enjoy the game’s final moments and, more importantly, use the remaining game currencies they have. The latter is important as they don’t offer refunds anyway. Niantic will also be removing the game from app stores on December 6th, 2021, so make sure you don’t accidentally uninstall the game after that date or you won’t be able to reinstall it.
The announcement follows the launch of Pikmin Bloom, another AR game from Nintendo’s IP. There’s a Transformers game in the works too, but the shutdown of Wizards Unite couldn’t instill a lot of confidence in investing time, emotion, and money in titles that could be gone in a year or two.
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