Niantic + Harry Potter = Why?

Note: I am not at all against them using the Harry Potter IP. I am mostly perplexed why the Harry Potter IP holders would choose to partner with Niantic giving their track record.

Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go and Ingress, have announced that they are working on a new title based on the Harry Potter IP. This comes at a time when their most recent product, Pokemon Go, is still plagued by major issues with new features launched months prior and after the failed real-life events caused outrage by the Pokemon fandom. This makes me ask the following question:

Who thought this would be a good idea?

On paper I could see this being a compelling project that could bring fans of Harry Potter together around the world just as Pokemon Go did at its launch, but Niantic does not have any positive track record with any of the projects they have released. Releases are usually lacking key features which were used as the main selling points for the respective titles and even at this point both of their games seem to be in a state of disrepair.

A quick glance at the /r/pokemongo subreddit showcases the ongoing frustrations their dedicated player base has with the game. Reading through many of the complaints, it makes you wonder just how out of touch the game developer is with their user base. Some of the mistakes just seem to be issues caused by carelessness in planning out a game that is available all around the world. The game, which requires real-life interaction with the world around the player, doesn’t take into consideration environmental factors or factors relating to the location of the player in terms of time zones. Given that they have access to resources from their affiliation with Google, one would think this is all information they could easily tap into to provide a better experience for the player.

While only time can tell how the new project is going to fare, it is quite clear that customers of Niantic are quite skeptical all over the Internet citing concerns that the new game will have the same pitfalls and limitations as both of their previous projects. Personally, I don’t expect much from the project at all and don’t expect it to launch any time soon given the amount of time it took for Pokemon Go to get released in a horribly unfinished state.