The new EE-Niantic deal:
Here’s how EE announced its new partnership with Niantic and Wizards Unite. The also included the Wizards Unite round-up trailer that Warner is using to promote the game.
As the UK’s best network for gaming, we’re the exclusive UK network partner for Harry Potter Wizards Unite – the exciting new AR game from @NianticLabs, launching this summer.
AR, your 5G mobile device and #5GEE will bring the Muggle and Wizarding World together.
A little after this first announcement came a second tweet. With a geekier tone, which was a nice addition.
Like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, we’ve teamed up to give you the best Harry Potter experience, over 5G, on the best network for gaming.
And, this summer, our Gamer’s Data Pass will give #5GEE Smart Plan customers inclusive data for their Wizarding adventures in the real world.
The Affected Areas
While EE offers its services broadly, the new 5G will reach cities at a slower pace. According to a tweet from EE:
Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow will receive #5GEE in 2019.
We’re also targeting Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester, and Wolverhampton for 2020.
So for now we’re looking at a Wizards Unite UK release limited to Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow this year, with more to come in 2020.
What this means for Wizards Unite in the UK
Unfortunately, as with everything Niantic, the short answer is: We don’t know.
We know the Network partnership is exclusive in the UK, but it’s still unclear if it’s a full on exclusive or a 5G exclusive. Specifically, will UK witches and wizards be able to play Wizards Unite using other networks?
One thing seems to be clear, though. EE will get special Wizards Unite content. We will find out soon just what this special content is. What will 5G actually bring to the table? Another little perk EE users will get is special rewards and quests.
Here’s a bit of speculation to tide us over
EE and Niantic are talking about a June release in the UK. It’s still unclear if it will be a Beta release or if they will officially call it a launch. We think the most likely scenario is the UK getting a beta release soon, and EE costumers getting the perks in exclusive, as opposed to EE being the only network with activa data on the map.
That would not go well with fans, especially after waiting since late 2017 for this game.
There is one other possibility, of course, but it is likely to cause a riot. The game could actually launch in the UK but only be playable on EE networks for the foreseeable future.
Our opinion, for what it’s worth, is that the UK will get a live beta soon, and EE will simply have special perks. Anything else would cause too much trouble. And we still don’t know anything about what the Samsung-Niantic deal will entail. That could also mean exclusivity or special perks for another company.
It would really help our sanity, at this point, if Niantic simply communicated more clearly. Or at all.
Do you agree with our thoughts? Are you expecting something different to happen? Let us know in the comments or join our Community Forum and Discord Channel to talk about it and try to make sense of what is happening.