More magic for ‘Pokèmon Go’ creator Niantic? ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ set for Friday release

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(Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Images)

Take a break from catching them all in “Pokèmon Go,” and raise your magic wand, or smartphone, for a new augmented reality offering from Niantic, as “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set for a global launch beginning Friday.

A tweet Tuesday night provided a cinematic preview of what to expect from the new game, which, like “Pokemon Go,” layers an animated universe onto the real world.

Not a lot of details in there for the rollout, but the U.S. and U.K. will apparently get the first chance to play.

Niantic and WB Games gave a sneak peek of what to expect back in March:

A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables,” and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes.

Your journey begins as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, established by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards for the purpose of investigating and containing The Calamity.

Niantic is clearly hoping to further capitalize on the popularity of AR games, spearheaded by its 2016 release of “Pokèmon Go.” About a third of the company’s employees are based in a rapidly growing engineering office in Bellevue, Wash. Niantic, which spun out of Google in 2015, raised a huge $245 million funding round in January.

“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” has been in beta in Australia and New Zealand.



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