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Harry Potter game is Pokemon Go creator's next trick

From BBC - November 9, 2017

The maker of Pokemon Go has revealed it is working on a Harry Potter-themed follow-up that will also include augmented reality features.

Niantic said players would find and fight fantasy beasts in real-world neighbourhoods in the smartphone game, which has yet to get a release date.

Pokemon Go reportedly had about 45 million daily players at its peak and generated more than $1.2bn (915m) in sales.

One expert said the Harry Potter brand had the potential for similar success.

Publisher Warner Bros Interactive owns the video game rights to the Harry Potter series. It has previously developed Lego-branded tie-in titles via its TT Games subsidiary as well partnering with Electronic Arts to create action-adventures that launched alongside the movies.

Warner said Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was just one of several new games based on JK Rowling's characters that are planned. They will all be released under a new label - Portkey Games - so-named because Portkeys transport wizards from place to place in the books.

Claims that Niantic would make a Harry Potter-themed game were first reported in July 2016 but were dismissed as a hoax, not least because the San Francisco-based developer was still rolling out Pokemon Go at the time.

The Pokemon title became the first mainstream hit for augmented reality, in which real-world views captured via a camera are mixed together with computer graphics on the screen.

Niantic had previously attempted to popularise AR with Ingress, a location-based sci-fi game released in 2012. But it was only after it took on an established brand that it caught the wider public's attention.

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