The much-anticipated elevated reality game based on the Harry Potter franchise from Pokémon GO masterminds Niantic is closer to the release, as the developer has begun public beta testing of the app.
On Tuesday, the beta version of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, built in collaboration with Niantic, Warner Bros. and Portkey Games, launched in the Google Play and App Store in Australia. The ground down in connection with New Zealand (which got access to beta on April 16), like the lucky guinea pigs for the site-based game.
Based on previously published previews, the game follows the formula pioneer by Niantic with Ingress and Pokémon GO as a scavenger hunt combined with a turn-based RPG that takes place in real places. Ironically, there are some twists and turns that affect the influence of subsequent site-based games that copied the Niantic model, namely the expanded reality of franchises Ghostbusters, Walking Dead and Jurassic Park.
Interested owners of Android devices can pre-register for the game via Google Play, while iPhone and iPad users can sign up for the game's official website for updates. And those who are really happy to enter the game can reserve their code names before the wider launch.
The game has had a long gestation period, with the original message released in November 2017.
Since then, Niantic has introduced its AR cloud solution, Niantic Real World Platform, which is the basis for restarting Ingress, as well as improvements to the Pokémon GO. Niantic has suggested that the platform will serve as the foundation for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite as well. Therefore, between the new platform and collaborating with several other entities, there are some reasonable excuses for the long delay.
Now that the game is out as a beta, it won't be long for the rest of the world to get its hands on any mobile AR magic.