Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go, has announced that it will be shutting down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite next year. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a Harry Potter-themed take on Pokemon Go. The game was designed to cash in on the hype surrounding Pokemon Go with the Harry Potter franchise.
Although Pokemon Go is still going strong and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, it seems like Wizards Unite never really caught on. Wizards Unite launched just two years ago and was accompanied by a fair amount of hype and marketing. The game seemed like it would be another home run for Niantic. Taking the Pokemon Go formula and applying it to the wildly popular Harry Potter franchise looked great on paper. Yet, the game was accused of being overly complex and bloated compared to Pokemon Go.
That translated into how the game was received too. On launch, it became the number one downloaded game on app stores but that quickly petered out. After almost two years, the game still only had around 20 million downloads. While that sounds like a lot, it’s nothing in comparison to its bigger Poke-brother. Pokemon Go has been downloaded over 1 billion times as of last year.
With games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go total downloads aren’t enough. These games need active monthly users. If people aren’t continuously playing the game, then it makes little financial sense for the developer to continue providing updates and support. Pokemon Go had a lull during its second year where the game suffered a huge drop in the number of monthly active users. Niantic was able to stave off the exodus by providing big updates for the game and it now has around 3x as many active monthly users as it did in 2017.
Unfortunately, it seems like they weren’t able to pull off the same thing with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game will be shutting down on January 31, 2022. It will be removed from app stores on December 6, 2021.