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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has smooth launch but can’t match Pokemon Go

Early indications of the success of Niantic’s latest location-based title are strong, but not quite Pokemon Go strong, despite the title hitting the top spot for free app downloads.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launched late last week in the UK and US and mobile analysts Sensor Tower have estimated spending on the title to total $300,000 across both territories and both iOS and Android in the first 24 hours.

By comparison, Pokemon got off to a quicker start with approximately $2m in user spending over the same period. Which put it at No.1 in the US charts top grossing apps, compared to just position 102 in the US and 48 in the UK.

Of course, it’s very early days for the app. The license is very strong, though location-based AR games of course aren’t the novelty they were when Pokemon Go launched. That said, its main competitor remains its stablemate title, not a bad position to be in for Niantic, but partner Warner Bros may be somewhat less enamoured with a situation where Niantic must motivate itself to compete with itself, day-in and day-out.

Early reception for the game is good. Some criticised the paucity of the main energy currency in the game but this was quickly tweaked by the developers, with the speedy reaction being a good sign for things to come. Aside from that, the first large rollout has gone smoothly, with the game in a good state following testing in Australia and New Zealand.

Of course, the game has a long, long way to go, but it’s a promising start.

Showing the game’s ambition, Niantic CEO John Hanke last month spoke on how they hoped to create a full 3D map of the planet using the data captured from millions of user cameras. Which could then allow them, and others, to create a whole new generation of more compelling AR applications.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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