Harry Potter Wizards Unite launched in both the US and the UK last Friday and quickly shot to the top of Apple’s most downloaded free Apps in its first 24 hours. Developer Niantic will be hoping to emulate the success of its hugely popular Pokemon GO game, which became a global phenomenon went it hit the market back in 2016.
To that end, Wizards Unite is essentially a reskinned version of Pokemon GO, featuring the exact same AR, location-based gameplay that tasks players with wandering around the real world looking things for digital collectibles.
But there are perhaps some question marks as to whether Wizards Unite is capable of attracting and sustaining the same sort of record-breaking figures as did Pokemon GO. Does, for example, the Harry Potter as a franchise carry anywhere the same sort of weight as Pokemon as a video game IP in the short term? And is that same AR, collectathon gameplay loop even compelling enough in the context of a Harry Potter universe?
Early estimates are in, and based on the game’s performance over its first 24 hours, Wizards Unite is off the pace but still posting impressive figures.
Data analytics firm Sensor Tower places Wizards Unite’s installs at “400,000 and counting, with gross player spending of at least $300,000 across the App Store and Google Play.
[UPDATE]: New data published from Sensor Tower July 1 estimates that Wizards Unite has now been downloaded 6.5 million times over its first seven days.
It took about 15 hours for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to reach No. 1 for free app downloads on the U.S. App Store.”
By comparison, Pokemon GO had recorded somewhere in the region of 7.5 million installs over the same 24 hour time frame, and that was in the US, Australia, and New Zealand only. The game didn’t launch in the UK until a week later.
It’s not quite in the same league, then, but that doesn’t mean Wizards Unite isn’t on track to become on of mobile gaming’s hottest properties.
The chart below, courtesy of App Annie via Variety, highlights that while its performance doesn’t match Pokemon GO’s, Wizards Unite is nonetheless recording impressive numbers in a short period of time. It’s also forecast to hit $100 million faster than some of the platform’s biggest earning Apps.
App Annie forecasts the game will reach $100 million in just 30 days versus Pokemon GO’s two weeks, but that would still be ten times faster than SuperCell’s ever-popular Clash of Clans.
[UPDATE]: New Sensor Tower data estimates that Harry Potter Wizards Unite has only generated $3 million in revenue over its first seven days, which puts it well of the pace required to hit App Annie’s $100 million in 30 days.
We’ve compiled some other data records for popular smartphone games below. The data isn’t over the same period, but they make for an interesting comparison anyway.
Popular Mobile Games: Revenue Over First Two Weeks (Sensor Tower)
- Pokemon GO – $100 million
- [UPDATE 10/10/2019] Call of Duty Mobile – $35.4 million (forecast based on first week spending)
- Fire Emblem Heroes – $34 million (iOS only)
- Super Mario Run – $15.6 million (iOS only)
- Fortnite iOS – $15 million (over three weeks)
- Animal Crossing – $9.8 million (iOS only)
- Dragalia Lost – $13.5 million (iOS only)
- Fallout Shelter – $5.1 million
- [UPDATE] Harry Potter Wizards Unite – $6 million (forecast based on first week spending, down from original $50 million estimate)
- Elder Scrolls Blades Beta – $500,000
The $1 Billion Club
By no means an exhaustive list, but the following is a sample of mobile games have generated at least $1 billion lifetime revenue, according to pocketgamer.biz:
- Pokemon GO
- Honor of Kings
- Candy Crush Saga
- Clash of Clans
- Lineage M
- Fantasy Westwood Journey
- Clash Royale
- Boom Beach
If Wizards Unite can maintain its forecasted $100 million in 30 days pace, the game will be well on track to join the above list by this time next year.
Again, though, the question will be whether the game holds the interest of its player base as Pokemon GO has done. We’ve already written about how puzzling we find the gameplay loop in the context of the Harry Potter universe already.
Put simply, where the AR functionality really complimented Pokemon’s entire premise of capturing creatures out in the wild, it would seem to make much less sense with a Harry Potter theme.
We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on the game’s commercial performance via data tracking firms and official updates in the coming weeks.