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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is unsurprisingly shutting down very soon

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise by now that Niantic Labs may or may not push through with games other than Pokemon GO. While that mobile AR title continues to bring in users and profits, other excursions have failed to take root and see the same success. That includes not only its original title, Ingress, but also a game that didn’t even fully launch. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has apparently lost the fight, as well, and will be going dark in about three months.

To be honest, it’s a bit of a miracle that the game lasted this long, having launched back in mid-2019. The Harry Potter property is gigantic, of course, and a great cash cow for those who can successfully milk it. It wasn’t always the case for many such products, however, especially games that failed to capture and deliver the same magical experience as the books, the films, and some toys.

That, unfortunately, happened to Niantic Labs’ version of the game, perhaps to very few people’s surprise. Wizards Unite was primarily criticized for being a reskinned Pokemon GO, reusing mostly the same mechanics except for the variety in gestures for casting spells. The timing of its launch, just months before the pandemic exploded, didn’t give it as much to evolve and break free from that mold.

Then there was also the problem of narrative. Unlike Pokemon GO, which is based on an open-ended lore, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite revolved around a specific event and stories around that event. One can only stretch that story so long, definitely not beyond two years.

And so Niantic Labs is finally announcing that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is closing on January 31, 2022, giving players plenty of time to enjoy the final moments of the game and, more importantly, use the remaining in-game currencies they have. The latter is important since they won’t be offering refunds anyway. Niantic will also be removing the game from app stores on December 6, 2021, so make sure you don’t accidentally uninstall the game after that date, or you won’t be able to reinstall it anymore.

The announcement comes on the heels of the launch of Pikmin Bloom, another AR game from Nintendo’s IP. There is also a Transformers game in the works, but the shutdown of Wizards Unite might not inspire much confidence in investing time, emotion, and money on titles that may be gone in a year or two.

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Game

‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ is shutting down on January 31st, 2022

Niantic is ending support for . The studio it will shutter the AR game on January 31st, 2022. Ahead of the sunset, it plans to delist the title from the App Store, Google Play and Galaxy Store on December 6th. That same day, it will also remove all in-app purchases from the experience.

Niantic first launched Wizards Unite back in . And in many ways, it never replicated the . “Not all games are meant to last forever,” the company said of the decision to stop working on the title. “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. We accomplished that together, delivering a two-year narrative story arc that will soon complete.”

For Niantic, this is the second game it has decided to shut down in less than two months. In September, it announced it was discontinuing development on  before the game was even widely available outside of a few select markets. Then, as now, Niantic says it will take what it learned from the experience and apply it to future projects.

Presumably that includes , which recently launched in Singapore and Australia, as well as the upcoming . In total, the studio says it’s working on nine games and apps, some of which will soft-launch next year.

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