Niantic is shutting down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite early next year


Érika García / CNET

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the augmented-reality game similar to Pokemon Go, is shutting down early next year, Niantic said in a blog post on Tuesday. The mobile game will be removed from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store on Dec. 6 and will officially close on Jan. 31, 2022. 

“Not all games are meant to last forever,” reads the post from Niantic, which codeveloped the game with WB Games. “Our goal with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was to bring the magic of the wizarding world to life for millions of players as they stepped outside and explored their neighborhoods.”

Niantic released the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in 2019, following the huge success of their previous AR game Pokemon Go. The game pits players against dark wizards and magical beasts to save beloved characters from the Harry Potter books from the Calamity — an unexplained event scattering magical items across world. Players walk around their real-world environment and cast spells by tracing patterns on their phone. While it never quite reached the popularity of Pokemon Go, Niantic says millions of people have played the game around the world.

See also: Best gaming gifts for holiday season 2021

Before the game shuts down at the end of January, there will be several in-game events during November and December to complete its story arc. There will also be gameplay changes, including increased rewards and more frequent portkeys and other in-game items, according to a post on the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite website. In-app purchases will be shut off on Dec. 6, though people will be able to continue playing the game up until Jan. 31.

In October, Niantic began rolling out a new AR mobile game, Pikmin Bloom. The map-based community game, made in collaboration with Nintendo, involves walking, lifelogging memories and laying flowers everywhere.

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