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'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' is available to play a day early

You're an augmented reality wizard, Harry.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 20, 2019
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Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for WB Games

Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite officially debuts on June 21st, but you won't have to wait until then to play if you live in the right country. The location-based game is already available for would-be Android and iOS spellcasters in the US and UK -- not surprisingly, Niantic is welcoming early adopters in a likely effort to minimize Pokémon Go-style server overloads. Australia and New Zealand have had the game for weeks in a pseudo-beta test, but Niantic is clearly expecting the broader launch to be particularly demanding.

It's not certain how wide the launch will be on June 21st. Niantic had to make some Pokémon Go players wait weeks or even months to start playing.

There's probably a good reason for the staggered approach. Pokémon Go is still popular long after the initial phenomenon wore out, and now Niantic is introducing a similarly location-based game that has the full weight of Harry Potter fandom behind it. You can be sure there's plenty of pent-up demand. If there's any uncertainty, it's whether or not Wizards Unite will repeat history in the long run and thrive well after the initial fad is over.

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