Pokemon Go creators launch Harry Potter game

LOS ANGELES • It is time to go hunting on the streets again.

The creator of mobile gaming phenomenon Pokemon Go unleashed a new game on Thursday that features Harry Potter and other characters from the wizarding world made famous in the best-selling books and blockbuster movies.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is co-created by Pokemon Go developer Niantic and AT&T's Warner Bros, which owns the rights to roll out entertainment based on author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Like Pokemon Go, Wizards Unite uses augmented reality and Google mapping to make it look like characters are appearing in the real world.

Characters, creatures and other elements are overlaid on the landscape players see through their phone's camera as they move around.

In Wizards Unite, users play the role of a recruit within the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to help solve a mystery. Players can discover artefacts, cast spells and encounter characters from the Potter films (2001 to 2011) and Fantastic Beasts prequel movie series (2016 and 2018).

"You see all your favourite characters and artefacts, whether it's the Sorting Hat, Buckbeak, Harry himself or Newt Scamander," said Mr Jonathan Knight, studio head of Warner Bros Games San Francisco.

There is also a new story that unfolds within the game.

"There's a crafting game where you're collecting potion ingredients and creating potions and using them to be a better wizard," Mr Knight added.

Pokemon Go exploded after its introduction in 2016, sending players into city streets, offices, parks and restaurants to search for colourful animated characters.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Pokemon Go creators launch Harry Potter game'. Print Edition | Subscribe