Harry Potter ARG won’t drag down Pokemon Go’s development, Niantic says

Now that we’re all waving around sticks and shouting garbled Latin in preparation for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, it is entirely possible that players in Niantic Labs’ other mobile ARGs might feel concerned that they are about to be benched in favor of the Boy Who Lived.

Not so, says Niantic Labs: “Just like many of you, we’re super excited about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and are working hard with our partners at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WB Games San Francisco’s development team to bring that to life. However, we — the Pokemon Go development team — want to say that we are 100% committed to creating an ever-changing and growing game that gets our players exploring, meeting each other, and deepening their connection to the Pokémon universe. We’re actively expanding the Pokemon Go development team to build many more amazing features in 2018.”

There’s potential in this game to be a smash hit: The Harry Potter franchise made $25 billion in 2016 alone, showing that its fandom is still alive and thriving. However, few specifics and no screenshots of the game have been revealed so far.

Wonder what we think of the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite announcement? Tune in to yesterday’s podcast or read our essay about the implications of a smartphone Wizarding World!

Source: Niantic Labs
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7 Comments on "Harry Potter ARG won’t drag down Pokemon Go’s development, Niantic says"

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Zen Dadaist

Considering how Ingress development slowed with PoGo, I don’t believe a word of it.

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Nemui Byakko

“Many more amazing features” in PG? Let me guess… Several more new pokemons?

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Blazing Coconut

There is little point to ARG games. I’ve played both Pokemon Go and Ingress… and until they give you the means to interact with other players, they’re ultimately a lot of work to accomplish nothing.

If they ever get duels into Go… well, that might make it interesting. However, for the moment they all can at best be summed up as a nice waste of time. Or something to do while walking.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

The point is to get people, especially gamers, out into the real world and interacting. My PoGO group has mentioned that we don’t really talk to our neighbors or do backyard BBQs or anything friendly like that, but we’ve found some friendly faces now thanks to the game. That being said, I do think that (oddly enough) the poor game mechanics and tutorials help accomplish that, especially for the older, less tech-savvy people.

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Blazing Coconut

Fair enough, and there is some validity to that. However, as a game, I kind of stand by my point. There’s no overall goal to them.

In Ingress, you capture portals to claim area. However, in the end does that really do anything for you? Not really. If I don’t play for a year and come back, was my absence an issue for the game? No.

In Pokemon it’s even worse. You capture pokemon and gyms, but there’s no real reason to do so.

Which leads me to my point. Bird watching or Train spotting are both fine activities, but you’d hardly call either of them a game. ARGs have more in common with those activities than they do with anything you’d classically associate with a game. There’s nothing wrong with either activity, just not something that I personally find satisfying.

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Melissa McDonald

AR games are interesting, but not very immersive without being visor-based. Apple apparently is working hard on an AR device, that should prove interesting.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Warner Bros. In Latin this time. Osculum est mortis.

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