Harry Potter mobile game by makers of Pokemon Go launching on Jun 21
In Niantic's free-to-play mobile game, players can capture magical creatures from the Harry Potter franchise, cast spells and explore locations based around real landmarks.
The launch of location-based augmented reality game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins on Friday (Jun 21).
A spiritual successor to Pokemon Go, also developed by Niantic, the free-to-play mobile game allows players to dive into the magical world of Harry Potter through their smartphones.
"A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle (human) world," explains the game's official website.
"Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these 'Foundables', and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes."
The game will progressively be rolled out to Android and iOS users worldwide, beginning in the US and UK. No details have been revealed about launch dates in Asia.
Players will be able to combat and capture magical creatures from the Harry Potter franchise while casting spells and exploring in-game locations based around real-life landmarks in the real world.
Different customisation options are also available - players can choose to specialise in their own unique sets of skills and abilities, pick their own wands, and pledge their allegiance to one of the four Hogwarts houses.
Signups for the game first opened in November 2018. Beta testing was also carried out in May by select users in New Zealand and Australia.
According to statistics collated by Business of Apps, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite's predecessor Pokemon Go saw a peak of 45 million players worldwide at launch in July 2016, making a record US$207 million in its first month - with US$100 million generated in the first 20 days alone.
The 20-year-old Harry Potter franchise is a multi-media juggernaut in its own right, with more than 500 million books sold worldwide according to official fan site Pottermore, and takings of an estimated US$7.7 billion across eight movies.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is jointly developed by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco, the video game production arm of entertainment giant Warner Bros.