Gaming

Niantic Delays Are “Last Straw”


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Following the announcement that Niantic and WB Games are discontinuing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the game’s schedule has been thrown into disarray. Influencers who have helped Niantic promote the game for years now were given an event schedule that was never confirmed on the forum. Niantic later contradicted that schedule with a short forum post detailing a schedule for the first few weeks of December. Those events slipped when a delayed update impacted their rollout. Then, Niantic and WB Games quietly removed promised events from the schedule and updated the launch date for December 2021’s Brilliant Events… only to then delay them without any information as to why. To say the least, the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is uniting one last time on one issue: they’ve had enough.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite graphic. Credit: Niantic
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite graphic. Credit: Niantic

One can gauge the temperature of the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on Niantic’s official forum for the game. In the December Monthly Overview thread, which Niantic has been altering with no official announcement thread since the beginning of December, fans reacted with disappointment and frustration.

User KATYCRO comments:

Ok, is anything going to happen as announced anymore? The game is ending and therefore not a priority, but then just stop announcing events and surprise us. It is somewhat frustrating, when you plan ahead and then there is nothing to do.

User EPHEGWIG writes:

I’m never going to give another cent to Niantic after the constant changes, broken promises, and badly thought out plans that have occurred since the game closing announcement. You really should have just shut down the game immediately because this just stinks.

User RELARINNA points toward WBGames rather than Niantic:

I don’t think the powers that be care what the player base thinks. It is clear by the mismanagement of the taking out of the Wizards Unite trash, that Warner Brothers Games doesn’t care about the fan base. WbGames and Wizarding World deserves more blame than anyone else. I have never seen a game shutdown mismanaged this badly.

User CAPNRON pointedly writes:

Yep, last straw for me. Been playing Ingress almost from the beginning, and even subscribed to CORE for a while. But this giant **** YOU to the HPWU players over the past month has led me to an Unbreakable Vow that I will never, EVER play another WB or Niantic game again, nor will I spend one penny of real money (or even Google Play credit, for that matter) in Ingress… if I continue to play at all. I would have happily donated to this game over the past year had they given us a product that wasn’t abjectly horrible, and turned a completely deaf ear to most of our feedback. Why give money to a company that obviously doesn’t care about pleasing its customers?!?

Niantic has historically received immense criticism from both the HPWU and Pokémon GO community for their poor communication. Just this past summer, they were boycotted for pulling back on pandemic bonuses. At the time, I felt and still feel that some of the boycott’s language regarding Niantic was unfair. There were some exaggerations about the company, especially considering the fact that we were told that those features would be ending. I reported at the time that Niantic is beholden to huge companies such as Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, so it likely takes some time and bureaucracy to make major decisions. The same is true for their work on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. However, comparing these situations makes it easy to see the difference. HPWU isn’t being given the thoughtful, graceful final two months that players were made to believe. To say that this is a mess is to put it lightly. Whatever corporate unit is truly responsible for failing this community, whether it be WB Games or Niantic, I can’t help but understand and largely agree with many of the comments above. It’s a shame.

Posted in: Games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Mobile Games, Niantic | Tagged: harry potter, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, hpwu, Niantic, Wizards Unite

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