Everything remains quiet on the Niantic front, but WB just might have given us a hint: Wizards Unite could release this summer!
Let’s have a look at what Warner Bros. CEO let slip out.
The Unintended Leak
So the news first came to our attention courtesy of @Harry29361095.
The Los Angeles Times posted an interview with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, our new best friend.
The central focus of the interview was the new changes in the Entertainment Industry. More specifically streaming companies such as Netflix or the upcoming Disney streaming service changing viewing habits and crowding the market.
They also discussed how Warner Bros. was adjusting after being bought by AT&T last year, and how their own streaming service is gearing up to release this year with original content.They even talked about self-driving cars…
All of this information was clearly relayed in the interview’s title:
Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara talks AT&T, self-driving Batman cars and the DC universe.
Then the conversation moved on to technology in relation to the new AT&T ownership.
You look at something like 5G. At first you think, ‘Oh, that doesn’t matter for a studio.’ It actually could have a significant impact on our ability to deliver content. Another thing that’s really exciting is the world of VR and AR. I don’t think we’ve figured out exactly what that is going to be, but 5G is going to turbocharge the ability to deliver that experience.
The Hidden Gem
Clearly, the journalist didn’t realise what he had in his hands when he published the interview.
He asked Tsujihara: ‘What new technology projects are in the works?’
The question seemed simple. Innocuous, even. But the answer sent all Potterheads reeling!
The one that’s the closest is this “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” [augmented reality] video game project coming out this summer from Niantic, the maker of “Pokemon Go.” That’s a world where, clearly, 5G and faster connectivity with a mobile device is going to make that game better.
If this is the first you hear on this, I’ll give you a minute to freak out or do your favourite Happy Dance (TM)
Done? Alright, let’s keep going then.
The Tentative Date
They have decided when and how we get out news, be it through official accounts or WUtuber Insiders.This strategy has been working well for them so far. They’ve managed to keep us all on the edge of our seats, dreaming up theories and speculation to pass the time while we wait for the next bit of news. We want Wizards Unite!
But now Warner Bros. CEO let something slip, and even if the LA Times didn’t notice, Potterheads certainly did!
Kevin Tsujihara’s answer wasn’t tentative either. There wasn’t a ‘probably’ or a ‘maybe’ anywhere in there. It was a simple statement. ‘Coming out this summer.’
Now I know that during interviews things can be taken out of context, but this little tidbit didn’t even make it into the title, so I’m inclined to believe it. And summer is roughly three months long, I know, but it’s certainly a narrower release window than ‘2019’.
Also, with all that in mind and Hanke’s comment on wanting a ‘strong release’ during his MWC Keynote, we’re thinking Niantic might just skip the beta release and go big. Check our out thoughts on this: To beta or not to beta?
The Upcoming Technology
Kevin Tsujihara mentioned G5 technology a few times, and this is clearly where they are expecting Wizards Unite to shine. This is also a subject heavily discussed during Niantic CEO John Hanke’s presentation at the 2019 MWC.
It seems almost as if technological developments are in fact what are holding Wizards Unite back. Is it possible that the issue is not with the game, but with our phones and our networks? They spoke about the importance of G5 and low-latency networks repeatedly, especially when concerning developments such as multiplayer platforms.
The perfect example of this is Codename NEON, which many of the people who attended the MWC were able to try for themselves on the latest Samsung phone. I can think of no better words to describe this technology, and the demos we saw, than amazing. And definitely filled with possibilities. You can see it for yourself right here.
In Niantic’s latest post, they go into what made Pokémon GO, and later Ingress, so special. Which is something John Hanke mentioned himself during the MWC Keynote.
At Niantic, we’ve seen how playing together has made an enormous impact in engagement in our games. Our players tell us that besides having fun, they have found benefits in making friends and building communities.
Designing a planet-scale real-world AR platform, Niantic
This kind of gives us hope for a storyline in Wizards Unite that allows for teams to form. You can find what many of us think about this and some of our ideas for teams right here in our forum.
WUtubers know best
A few of our favourite WUtubers already shared their thoughts with us, here are a couple of them. Check out what they have to say and make sure you subscribe to their channels!
- The Wizards’ Guide @theWizardsGuide
- XpectoGO @Xpecto_GO
- Zealman’s Wizarding World @TheZealman
- PokeFodderYT @PokeFodder
The Fantastic Beasts Situation
The interview also touched upon Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The LA Times journalist asked Tsujihara about the sequel, and why he thinks it didn’t perform as well as the first one. Here’s what Tsujihara had to say:
The second film didn’t perform as well as the first, but I think we know what we need to do to get the third film hopefully even better than the first one. And J.K. Rowling is really working hard now on that third script, and we’re going to get it right. She has an incredible vision of where she wants to go with this that is incredibly exciting.
And That’s a Wrap
So what do you think? Is it a real leak? Was it just a throwaway comment? Do you think a summer release is likely? Maybe July 31st as a Harry Potter/JK Rowling birthday present?
Let us know in the comments or pop on over to our community forum for a chat!