Niantic and WB Games will officially halt operations of its augmented reality mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on January 31, 2022. Niantic, the developer of the famed Pokémon Go mobile game that also operated in the augmented reality format, will remove Harry Potter: Wizards Unite from the App Store, Google Play and Galaxy Store on December 6.
The company made the announcement of the game’s shutdown in a blog post but did not cite a reason for the decision. Stating that the developers’ goal with the game was to “bring the magic of the wizarding world to life” for users, the company assured that it had accomplished the goal by delivering a narrative story arc spanning two years.
Before the game becomes unplayable next year, Niantic is offering the Wizards Unite players some gameplay changes and events starting from November 2. The changes will include features such as enhanced rewards for daily assignments, reduction in potion brew time, unlimited gift sharing, among others.
Moreover, in-game purchases will also be stopped for Wizards Unite after December 6. However, existing in-game possessions such as gold can be disposed of until January 31. No refunds will be available on the in-app purchases after the deadline “except where otherwise required by law,” the company disclosed in its announcement.
The shutdown of the fantasy game is largely attributed to its lack of success in comparison to its predecessor — Pokémon Go. Despite the pandemic, Pokémon GO recorded its highest-grossing year so far in 2020, earning over $1 billion its earnings in 2021 are on track to surpass that, with earnings crossing $1.1 billion so far.
Meanwhile, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite saw nearly 739,000 installs globally in the first 10 months of 2021, declining 57 per cent from the same period in 2020 when it saw approximately 1.7 million installs. The in-app consumer spending also decreased 57 per cent so far in 2021 compared to the same time period last year. To date, the game was downloaded an estimated 20.3 million times, generating $39.4 million from consumer spending.
In the announcement, Niantic also hinted at future plans after the fantasy game is taken off the app stores. “We’ll take all of the learnings from Harry Potter: Wizards Unite into our other projects,” the company said. Niantic currently has nine games and apps under development including some that will see a soft launch next year.