Pokémon Go Developer Niantic’s Next Augmented Reality Smartphone Game Will Be Harry Potter Themed

Following the success of Pokémon Go, TechCrunch is reporting today that developer Niantic Labs' next augmented reality game will be themed around the world of Harry Potter. The smartphone app will be called "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" and is set to launch in 2018.

Specific details about the app's gameplay have not yet been released, but it's said that "there will be significant influence" from Niantic's original game, Ingress, which also influenced Pokémon Go. The developer's previous two games task players with exploring the real world to perform in-game actions, defending locations, and collecting items. Still, it's unclear which aspects of the Harry Potter universe would be used to create an augmented reality experience.

Niantic Labs had tremendous success with Pokémon Go, which paired their expertise in building location-based augmented reality mobile experiences with a top-flight IP with a ravenous fan base. So, it stands to reason that we should expect a similar fan response to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR title set to launch in 2018, co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub brand Portkey Games.

The app is now official, bu the details are still scarce, with the launch timeframe of just sometime next year, but it sounds like there will be significant influence from the Niantic game Ingress, which allows players to roam the real world collecting power-ups, defending locations and exploring their environment.
Augmented reality is quickly becoming a popular feature on smartphones, particularly for Apple's products. This year, the company debuted ARKit in iOS 11, greatly expanding the reach and availability of AR apps on the iOS App Store. Company CEO Tim Cook is constantly referencing his excitement for the technology, and a report by Bloomberg earlier today reinvigorated rumors that Apple is now on a "very aggressive" timeline to debut AR glasses by 2020.


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Amazon announces its best-selling books of 2016 and No. 1 won’t surprise you at all

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The Harry Potter books have long been bestsellers, and now they’re joined by the first Harry Potter play. The script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, now on stage in London, was Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller of 2016.

“The power of Potter is still strong, and readers of all ages can’t get enough of Hogwarts,” said Amazon Senior Book Editor Chris Schluep in a press release. ”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the most anticipated book of the year, breaking pre-order records months before its release.”

Cursed Child is first play ever to reach Amazon’s top 20 bestsellers for a year. Here is the full list. Read more…

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‘Harry Potter’ eyeshadow is here, just in time for the Yule Ball

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Makeup company Storybook Cosmetics recently released their awesome line of makeup brushes inspired by Harry Potter characters’ wands – and now, there’s the perfect makeup to go with it.

The company, run by identical triplets Erin, Mandy and Missy Maynard, just announced their line of eyeshadow inspired by characters from Harry Potter and other magical stories, called the Witchcraft & Wizardry Palette.

After weeks of posting teaser images of the eyeshadow colors on Instagram for customer feedback (which have since been deleted), Storybook Cosmetics finally announced the official lineup. Read more…

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Mom has magical excuse after kid misses school for Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Sometimes as a kid you need to miss school to do more important things, like visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

After missing just three days of school to attend an extremely important theme park, this kid was placed on a student attendance behavioral improvement plan, because the world is cruel and school is the worst.

The boy’s mother was forced to fill out some annoying paperwork after the absence, so she decided to use some magical words to get her kid off the hook from any wrong doing. 

In the form the mother explains that her child missed school because he was attending the theme park, and when asked for specifics, she replies, “student was learning defense against the dark arts.” Read more…

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is coming to the U.S.

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LOS ANGELES — Happy almost holidays, No-Majs. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, is scheduled for a Spring 2018 New York City debut.

The two-part show, which debuted in July 2016 at London’s Palace Theatre, is ironing out the details to move to Broadway’s Lyric Theatre when it finishes its run in the UK.

Pricing for the New York City show has yet to be disclosed, but the show’s stage producer hinted in a statement that low-priced options would be available. 

Many in the UK have complained about the availability of low-priced tickets, with eager theater-goers forced to pay higher prices.  Read more…

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Tilda Swinton reveals why she doesn’t like the ‘Harry Potter’ films

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LONDON — You don’t meet many people who dislike Harry Potter. Most either love the franchise or are indifferent to it. But it does have its critics.

Tilda Swinton might be one of the biggest.

The British actress mentioned her dislike of the films in a recent interview with The Scots Magazine

When talking about her own school experience — she attended London’s West Heath Boarding School— she described it as “a very lonely and isolating environment”.

The experience seems to have put her off J.K. Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts. Read more…

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You can now watch every ‘Harry Potter’ film in 90 minutes

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LONDON — Back when the Harry Potter film franchise was winding up, quite a few people debated whether or not the final book should have been split into two movies. 

Not many people debated the merits of only having one film for the whole series, though.

Well, with his 90-minute edit of all eight films rolled in to one, New Yorker Tim Stiefler has done exactly that.

The brilliantly titled Wizardhood, which Stiefler shared on Vimeo on Sunday, incorporates some fairly no-nonsense editing techniques to bring the total time down from a hefty 19 hours 40 minutes to a mere one hour 30 minutes. Read more…

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Syrian girl who received Harry Potter books is ‘trapped’ after bombing

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The Syrian girl who was sent a Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling has been displaced in Aleppo along with her mother after her house was destroyed by bombing. 

Talking to Mashable via direct message on Twitter, Bana Alabed said they’re still trapped in the rebel-held areas in the eastern part of the city 

“Still inside, we can’t escape. If we go to regime side, they will kill us. We received many death threats,” she said. “We’re just waiting. We’re together.”

Earlier, the 7-year-old tweeted a picture of her house reduced to rubble:  Read more…

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Syrian girl thanks J.K. Rowling for her ‘Harry Potter’ books

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It’s been a series of magical moments for Bana Alabed. 

The 7-year-old girl who has been tweeting from a war zone in Aleppo, Syria is now able to escape into the magical world of Harry Potter, thanks to a gift from the author herself.

On Thursday, Bana’s account, which is run by her mother Fatemah, shared a video of her thanking the author for sending copies of the books. 

“My friend, Joanne, how are you? I started reading the books. Thank you very much. I love you,” Alabed said in a video, showing the cover of the Philosopher’s Stone on a phone.   Read more…

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