The child who lived is ready to perish in Niantic’s augmented reality game. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite released two years ago by the same firm that brought us Pokémon GO, and it followed a similar structure to their first huge success. However, it turns out that combining a popular series with an augmented reality game is not necessarily a recipe for success. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be unplayable on January 31, 2022; however, it will withdraw from all app stores after December 6. Players will not allow making in-app purchases after December 6, but they will be able to redeem current in-app purchases like Gold until January 31. There will be no returns “unless where otherwise required by law,” according to the game’s statement.
Despite the fact that the fantasy game did well after its original release, it was evident from the start that it would not be as popular as Pokémon GO. Despite the epidemic, Pokémon GO had its most profitable year in 2020, collecting more than $1 billion, and the app has already earned more than that this year, with $1.1 billion thus far.
In a blog post, Niantic stated, “Not all games are designed to endure forever.” “We worked together to achieve [our objectives], generating a two-year narrative tale arc that will be completed shortly.” True, Niantic’s Harry Potter game is significantly more narrative-driven than Pokémon Go, which merely makes a passing reference to a plot. However, the numbers behind these games point to another possible explanation for the game’s demise.
According to app analytics, firm Sensor Tower, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite had 739,000 global installations in the first ten months of 2021 down 57% year over year from the same time in 2020 when it had 1.7 million installs.
In-app consumer spending has also decreased by 57 percent this year compared to the same period last year. The game has been downloaded a total of 20.3 million times, resulting in $39.4 million in consumer expenditure. Meanwhile, so far this year, Pokémon GO has made over $1.1 billion in revenue.
The closure of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite comes after Niantic introduced Pikmin Bloom, a new game developed in conjunction with Nintendo, last week. Niantic is also working on Transformers: Heavy Metal, an augmented reality game in which players will combat huge robots. Niantic announced today in a blog post that it has nine games and applications in development, including some that will soft launch next year. Employees working on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will reassign to other projects, according to Niantic. The mechanism employed in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite designed for Pokémon GO and Ingress, according to Niantic CEO John Hanke in an interview with TechCrunch following the game’s debut.
“As we created things, especially for Pokémon GO,” Hanke told TechCrunch at the time, “we attempted to make them part of a framework that could be re-used in other games.” “A good example is the social features, which were created to assist Pokémon GO but could easily be implemented by other games.” So maybe the cancellation of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite proves that while walking around and interacting with digital items works in the Pokémon universe, it does not work in any other series.