Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s launch month revenue is ahead of competitors but well behind Pokemon Go

Haha whoops.

Here’s the good news for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. In the category of AR mobile games? Its launch month has been substantially better than its competitors, beating out the estimated revenue of almost all its closest competition with an estimated intake of $12 million. That’s significantly ahead of every other game’s launch month revenue in the field save one.

Unfortunately, that “save one” game would be Pokemon Go, which had a launch month revenue of $300 million, putting HPWU at about 4% of Niantic’s previous AR launch. That is probably not what anyone wanted for a launch month.

Of course, it’s also important to put everything in perspective; these figures only cover the launch month, after all, and it’s worth stressing again that $12 million is significantly ahead of the game’s next-largest competitor in the form of the Jurassic Park game (which made around $10 million). It’s not a bad figure by any means, but if the plan was for this to be as huge of a hit as its immediate predecessor… well, that hope has left the building.


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I’d love to know the reason why Pokemon Go did so much better!

I hate mobile games in general, and Im not a fan of Pokemon or Harry Potter so I have no investment or experience in either game but I’m very curious. I have some theories:

1) The asian factor – Pokemon is a global affair but is also really big in asia which has a longer history of F2P monetisation than we do. Perhaps HPWU actually did OK in the west, but has just completely missed the mark in Asia? I have no idea how well HP does in Asia

2) The female factor – I seem to remember reading on this site that Harry Potter is one of the few fantasy IPs that actually has a larger female fanbase than male. As gaming is still very much skewed towards males, perhaps the mobile game just didn’t strike a chord with it’s female fanbase, or perhaps the female fanbase is less willing to risk money on the game, or perhaps it was marketed wrong?

3) Late to the table – Pokemon Go showed us a little bit of what was possible with AR, but ultimately once the novelty of augmented reality wears off, you’re just left with a very shallow game that involves a lot of walking. Gamers weren’t aware of that before GO, but they are now and perhaps they couldn’t be bothered doing it again for HP?

4) The IP itself – When I speak to fans of Harry Potter, there are generally two reasons why they like it: either because it released when they were growing up and so they enjoyed the series as a “coming of age” type thing with some cool monsters and effects in the background, or, HP acted as their first introduction to fantasy and led them to discover other fantasy IPs and so they are thankful for it’s influence. I have never met an adult who already enjoyed fantasy before coming across HP, who then watched HP or read the books and thought they were good. So, it doesn’t seem the sturdiest of IPs to build a game around.

5) Straight up monetisation – no idea what this new games monetisation is like, but if its bad then less people are going to bother spending money, which means less people playing, which means less word of mouth…..

Malcolm Swoboda

I can say the monetization is much more *obstructive* this time.

Malcolm Swoboda

Deserved, for being stingier than any such game except just maybe Pogo at launch.

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I mean a mere 12 million I guess that explains why they can’t afford to give away any of their fan fest tickets in their prize draw and they are only giving you the opportunity to spend money if you win it.