Will we get a Beta release?
Many developers like to do a controlled beta release before a game is available. This is especially true when the game involves new technology or a potentially very large audience. Niantic did, in fact, use a similar strategy when they first released Pokémon Go.
Of course, in the years since then, AR technology has changed quite a bit. There have been many new developments, one of the most interesting ones being Niantic’s new multiplayer platform.
Niantic also recently acquired quite a few companies with their own technological developments, which they probably want to adapt and use on the Wizards Unite Game.
Another important aspect would be Harry Potter fans, of which there are a few here and there…A wide release would involve probably millions of users all downloading the app as soon as it becomes available.
So let’s go over what we think might happen in this case. Wizards Unite: to Beta or not to Beta?
Reasons for a Wizards Unite Beta Release:
There is one main reason for releasing a controlled beta version of a game: To catch technical issues.
However much Niantic tries to test their game inside the company, they need a large number of players, on different networks, mobile brands and areas to do this properly. There are too many Potterheads itching to download the game the second it becomes available. They cannot mess it up.
A Beta release would allow the company to limit the amount of people who have access to the game and closely monitor their gaming experience. This way, they would be able to catch most, if not all, issues with the game and fix them before the wide release.
Another clue that this might be the plan comes from the official Wizards Unite site (here). The site has a post for each of the two trailers they released in 2018. However, the main focus seems to be to get fans to enlist and become members of the SoS Task Force. Now the most logical reason for such a focus on enlisting would be to get a varied sample of users interested in the game so they can choose their Beta-testing group from there.
To top it all off, the fact that the release date is still unknown, pushed back from late 2018 to some point in 2019 is a cause for concern.
The reason behind this could be quite simple: the game is taking much longer than anticipated. If we couple that with the lack of game play information, we might assume Wizards Unite is, in fact, far from ready. So an open 2019 release date would give the company plenty of time to release a Beta version and focus on finding and fixing bugs or glitches.
Reasons against a Wizards Unite Beta Release:
Okay, let’s turn the tables now. Let’s go over why we think Niantic might not launch a Beta release at all.
First and foremost, there are too many people waiting for this game. It’s been a long time. We are frustrated. We are exhausted. That’s not what a company wants from its players when about to launch a game of this caliber.
Also Beta releases are messy. Everyone wants them, people poke and prod and find a way to install the game even though it’s not ready for public consumption yet. This could lead to stress, anger, and worst of all, bad reviews before the game is even out.
It would make more sense, given the scope of the game, for the company to test it in-house. This would help keep the mystery around the game, let them control the information and launch the game widely when it’s actually ready.
But here is the biggest reason why we think Wizards Unite might be heading straight for wide release:
Warner Bros might be in charge
As far as we can see, WB seems to keep a strong hold over any and all Potterverse properties. This includes Wizards Unite. Now everything from the design of the website to the promotional trailers seems to better fit a large company with broad experience in marketing their products than a tech company like Niantic.
It seems they might be the ones deciding the release date, and not Niantic.
So what would be the point in involving influencers without a game close to release? They are clearly trying to get a reaction out of users. They want us excited and involved. It would be absurd for such a company to ruffle our feathers too soon. If they want us paying attention, something has to be coming.
So what do you think?
Those are basically our thoughts on the subject, from both perspectives. It is obviously the second option that we are rooting for. But if we are wrong and they do go for a beta release, be sure to check back for the best beta download links.
What about you? Do you think the game is near? Do you think they’re just blowing smoke up our robes, just making things up to get enough time to finish the game off and test it? Let us know in the comments or go to our community forum (link on the menu bar) for a chat.