Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, developer Niantic's magical spin on the Pokémon Go formula, will permanently shut down on 31st January 2022.
Wizards Unite arrived with much fanfare back June 2019, presenting a more narrative-focused take on the hugely popular location-based AR action of Pokémon Go as Harry Potter seeped into the real-world. And now, nearly two and a half years on, that adventure is almost at an end.
"Not all games are meant to last forever," Niantic wrote in a statement announcing Wizards Unite's imminent closure. "Our goal...was to bring the magic of the wizarding world to life for millions of players as they stepped outside and explored their neighbourhoods. We accomplished that together, delivering a two-year narrative story arc that will soon complete."
"During this time," Niantic added elsewhere, "players have also worked alongside Hermione and Harry as part of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of the London Five and are now on the verge of putting an end to the Calamity."
Come 31st January next year, all servers and features will be switched off and the Wizards Unite app will be removed from digital storefronts. Additionally, the community forum and all associated social media channels will closed. Players will have until 31st January to spend their Gold balance and use any remaining items, and Niantic notes no refunds will be given on past purchases, except where otherwise required by law.
While the Wizards Unite servers remain online, however, players will be able to continue their adventures, and Niantic is organising a series of in-game events throughout November and December, as detailed in its announcement post. Additionally, a number of gameplay changes will come into effect today, 2nd November:
- All Daily Assignments will have their rewards increased
- All Potion Brew times will be reduced by 50% with Master Notes
- The daily cap on sending and opening Gifts will be removed
- Barrufio's Brain Elixir potion will now award 3x player XP
- 1920s Portkey Portmanteaus will appear on the map more frequently and associated Fragment rewards will be doubled
- Spell Energy and Ingredients will appear on the map more frequently
Niantic hasn't offered an official explanation for the game's closure, but Wizards Unite players looking for a similarly style AR experience won't be short of options. Alongside Pokémon Go and Ingress, Niantic has just launched Pikmin Bloom and is also working on Transformers: Heavy Metal, with the studio saying it has a total of nine apps in its development pipeline, some soft-launching in 2022. Its take on Catan was, of course, formally cancelled in September.
"Thank you to our extraordinary community of witches and wizards for joining us on this journey," Niantic concluded. "We have had so much fun exploring with you over the last two years, and we hope to see you adventuring with us in some of our other games soon!".