Why Niantic is closing down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

harry potter wizards uniteNiantic

Pokemon Go developers, Niantic, are shutting down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite after supporting the game for two years as other AR entries outpaced the mobile spinoff.

The studio is taking Wizards Unite off the App Store, Google Play, and Galaxy Store on December 6, 2021. The Harry Potter alternate reality game will completely shut down soon after on January 31, 2022.

Niantic was hoping to have another worldwide hit three years after Pokemon Go’s release caused millions of trainers to hit the streets at launch.

But Wizards Unite couldn’t replicate that hype. The game had a strong interest at the start but never managed to grip fans of the beloved franchise enough to stick with it.

harry potter wizards uniteNiantic
Wizards Unite will shut down after two years on mobile markets.

Niantic will shut down Wizards Unite

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is going offline after struggling to amass the critical and fan success of previous breakout hits.

“Not all games are meant to last forever,” Niantic said. “Our goal with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was to bring the magic of the wizarding world to life for millions of players as they stepped outside and explored their neighborhoods.

“We accomplished that together, delivering a two-year narrative story arc that will soon complete… We’ll take all of the learnings from Harry Potter: Wizards Unite into our other projects.”

The devs are working on nine different projects at the moment with major franchises for games like Pikmin Bloom and Transformers: Heavy Metal.

Though Harry Potter didn’t translate to AR as they had hoped, they’ll continue to experiment with more titles to see if the formula lands.

wizards unite dragonsNiantic
Niantic introduced everything from characters from the Harry Potter movies to Dragons and other monsters in Wizards Unite.

Wizards Unite couldn’t match Pokemon Go’s success

Though Niantic’s AR formula seemed to be a perfect fit for the Harry Potter universe, it never got close to the benchmarks PoGo set.

For example, Pokemon Go generated $32 million in revenue from Google Play users during October 2021, according to data from SensorTower. Wizards Unite has only hauled in around $35 million in lifetime player spending, according to an early 2021 SensorTower report seen below.

Though it’s unclear if that lifetime number was for users across all devices, the divide between the two titles gets even larger when you factor in the $29 million Apple Store PoGo players spent in October.

While Pokemon Go was able to seamlessly weave the franchise’s popular game mechanics and formula into something players could resonate with, WU couldn’t.

wizards unite dataSensorTower
Even among other Harry Potter mobile titles, Wizard Unite struggled to keep up.

Wizards Unite had a successful release in June 2019 with 400k downloads on launch day. Since then, downloads have trickled with only about 60,000 people installing the game in the last month on Apple and Android.

Though Niantic hasn’t shared user data on Wizards Unite, Pokemon Go is going really strong in 2021 with over 700,000 active users, according to Active Player.

Comparing most mobile titles to Pokemon Go will reveal stark disparities in user data but it’s clear Harry Potter: Wizards Unite didn’t hit the metrics Niantic were hoping to match.