On July 19, 2019, the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite team held a panel at San Diego Comic Con where they discussed both the process that went into making the game, as well as a host of new features.
The panel was moderated by Felicia Day (Charlie Bradbury of Supernatural) and joined by the following dignitaries:
- Mary Casey (Executive Director of Product – WB Games San Francisco)
- April Stegall (Senior Art Manager – WB Games San Francisco)
- Archit Bhargava (Director of Worldwide Marketing -Niantic Labs)
- Alex Moffit (Product Manager -Niantic Labs)
A lot of news came from this panel, so let’s dive right in. The new upcoming features in Wizards Unite include:
A beloved feature for Pokémon GO fans, a magical version of Adventure Sync will soon make its way to Wizards Unite. It will be implemented in an upcoming update, and it is the most important of the new features.
Adventure Sync is a technology that allows the game to track your walking distance and progress. Steps will be synced with the game even when the game is not open. To put it simply, the game uses your phone to calculate your movement, and then it adds the distance you have walked throughout the course of the day to the distance in the game.
The features works by integrating the data collected by Apple Health or Google Fit, and it relies on your device’s step counter, rather than the GPS. This allows you to save on battery life while enabling you to unlock Portkeys faster.
To be honest, fans were hoping this feature would be implemented from the start of the game. Now that we’re about a month and half into the game, this announcement is a sign that the HPWU team is willing to listen to the community.
Pokémon GO offers various rewards and incentives once you complete a specific distance (5km, 25km, 50 km) on a weekly basis. We can expect Wizards Unite to follow suit and gives us a few scrolls, spell books, and energy perks, maybe even a rare Portkey.
At the time of writing, dragons are confirmed to be Oddities, but it would not be a surprise to see them integrated in other aspects of the game as time progresses.
Dragons are confirmed to be region-locked, similar to Pokémon GO’s implementation of region-locked Pokémon such as Mr. Mime, Kangaskhan, Tauros, etc. It’s possible that dragons will be available in other areas during special events.
In addition, various characters primarily associated with Dragons could come into the game. So who knows, maybe Charles Weasley could drop in for a visit! There are two new Registry pages for dragons in the preview, each with two dragons and their eggs.
They could come in handy for potions as well since there are various potions which utilize dragon parts like dragon blood, dragon claw, dragon liver, etc. as potion ingredients. Plus dragon skins can resist charms, so there’s a possibility they’ll be used for defense of some kind.
There is a Wizards Unite Fan Festival scheduled to be held on August 31 and September 1st in Indianapolis. The tickets are up for grabs in game, at the time of writing. For more details, please read through our guide.
Community Days will be held every month. These will feature a Foundable family, whose spawn rates will be dramatically boosted. For a general overview of the first Community Day, read my review.
Other Announcements/ Information
- Regionals are to be rolled out in game. Dragons are confirmed to be regionals, more are expected to follow suit.
- A love story between Nel and Grim is incorporated into the storyline, and it will grow as with your progress in-game.
- The story of Wizards Unite is all about the characters and their relationships. Quite a lot of prominent characters will appear soon.
- Hints were given about weather affecting spawns, with a particular emphasis on rain.
- The lack of prominence of the houses in game is because the game is intended for a global audience. The focus is intentionally not on Hogwarts!
- Niantic reiterated the three goals of the game: Exercise, Exploration and Social Interaction.