Pokemon Go Festival Goes Wrong as Glitch Ensures Fans Can't Catch 'Em All. Credit - Instagram/ashtontheengineer via Storyful1:00
A Pokemon Go festival was held in Grant Park, Chicago, on July 22, to celebrate one year since the popular app was launched. However, fans were left disappointed as a glitch in the app meant that they were not able to use the augmented reality game. The glitch resulted in some Pokemon fans attending the event not being able to log on to the game at all. The app’s developer, Niantic, were forced to issue a statement saying that all those who registered for the festival would receive a full refund as well as $100 credit to use on the Pokemon Go App, according to the Chicago Tribune. John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, was booed when he walked on stage to address the crowd of disappointed fans. Credit: Instagram/ashtontheengineer via Storyful
The next Pokemon Go craze is nearly upon us — and here’s what it looks like.
Niantic Labs, the company that turned the world into a giant Pokemon hunting ground in 2016, has finally revealed new details about its long-awaited follow-up game.
The company is largely responsible for the explosive popularity of augmented reality mobile gaming, and it wants to cast the same spellbinding magic with its new Harry Potter-themed game.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set to drop later this year, but a handful of journalists got the chance to play a small demo at the company’s San Francisco offices recently.
According to the lucky few, it shares many of the characteristics of Pokemon Go but is a more complex game overall.
Like its predecessor, there’s a map that corresponds to the real world, and players are largely tasked with travelling around on foot and exploring physical spaces to discover digital items or engage with creatures in a magical showdown.
As The Verge described it after getting a taste of the gameplay: “The core activity in Wizards Unite involves collecting a mix of artefacts and sometimes saving notable characters from the series who are stuck in a bad situation.”
Once you find the item or friendly character, you play a little game that involves casting a spell by tracing your finger on your smartphone screen and then collecting the item or freeing the character.
“Afterwards, you’re able to add that item or character to your collections book, earn experience points and level up.”
Niantic still hasn’t announced a hard release date for the Harry Potter game. Originally it was due last year, but the company says it will now drop later in 2019.
Throughout the game, players would learn spells, explore real-world neighbourhoods and cities to discover and fight beasts and team up with others to take down bad guys, Niantic said when it announced the game in 2017.
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will leverage the full stack of the Niantic Platform while also providing an opportunity to pioneer all new technology and game play mechanics,” the company promised.
It looks to be a slightly more sophisticated and visually-improved game, but it remains to be seen if it has anywhere near the same impact as Pokemon Go.
The creators have high hopes for this kind of social mobile gaming where people are encourage to get outside with their friends.
Niantic Labs was all about making large-scale social games so people could exercise and spend time face-to-face with other gamers, the company’s CEO John Hanke said last month.
“We all need a little nudge to do some exercise. We’re trying to build products to encourage that,” he said during a speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
It’s also all about old-fashioned social interaction. “There’s medical evidence that face-to-face interactions leads to better general wellbeing,” he added.
Pokemon Go was a huge global success, and along with a couple of earlier titles has generated more than US$2 billion in revenue for the company.
Niantic is keen to keep the good times going. “We think we’re at the very beginning of something quite important,” Mr Hanke said.