July 2016 was a simpler time. Barack Obama was still president and The Secret Life of Pets ruled the box office. We couldn’t tell the Trump children apart from each other. Tom Petty was still alive. And millions of people all around the world left their houses that month to chase a bunch of fake digital monsters hiding in their local parks.
Ah, yes, we’re talking aboutPokémon Go. For a few fleeting weeks that summer, our phones never left our sides, because we never knew if a wild Weedle, Zubat, or Jigglypuff would pop up in plain view. While our collective love affair with the A.R. game ended well before Labor Day, the game has been downloaded an astonishing 750 million times (to the tune of $1.2 billion in revenue).
Pokémon Go was a phenomenon, and the last pure thing to dominate public discourse before the country turned sour, precisely one year ago. So perhaps to reclaim the zeitgeist and Make America Game Again — but more realistically, earn a fresh new shitload of money — the app’s developer, Niantic, is hard at work on a follow-up. But instead of Pokémon, developers are tackling an even more massive — and iconic — universe this time around: Harry Potter.
Though details are scarce on “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” it’s reasonable to assume based on Niantic’s press release that it’ll look and feel similar to Pokémon Go, and rightfully so. Regardless if you eventually fell victim to Pokémon fatigue, remember the absolute rush you felt when you first took over your local PokéGym because you trained your Snorlax to fight well? Now, imagine going Avada Kedavra all over your neighbor to prove you’re the baddest wizard on the block.
“The game will use state-of-the-art A.R. mobile technology and allow players to go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artifacts, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters as they explore real-world neighborhoods and cities across the globe,” the release says.
There’s no release date yet, but it’s never too early to start brushing up on your spells.