Accio Financium!

That magical pig seems pretty stressed out about the whole “fills with money” thing…

That spell, (Accio Financium!) in Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, would basically summon money. Niantic Labs and WB Games are currently doing JUST that…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The other day, I had to get a new cell phone. The last one was ancient…and it had started to simply not deliver text messages from a very close friend to me. Seriously, that person specifically, as if the phone had declared war on them as a person. The smart Google search window started to crash, so it was time for a new device. It was a Galaxy 5, and apparently that model is now on version 10, so that gives you an idea of the Methuselah scale age of the phone.

Apparently, phones have a whole lot more space in their memory now, too. That makes sense, of course. Still, it opened up the option to play some cell phone games that I wouldn’t have ever downloaded into the old one. I didn’t do that immediately, however, I waited until the weekend.

On Sunday, I saw numerous articles about “Wizards Unite,” the Harry Potter universe game that is Augmented Reality, and has a lot in common with say, “Pokemon Go.”

It was a @#$% to download. That finally happened though. There isn’t too much of a tutorial, so yes…until earlier today (right after I drew the artwork) I still didn’t understand how to deal with “Fortress Duels.” At this point I get it, and successfully defeated a “Common Death Eater” and a giant spider on overland Avenue near my house. @#$% those guys.

I actually had to work out how to do the Fortress Battles with a fencing team mate, who was also struggling with the concepts. Adult Harry Potter, who is pretty much your coach in the game, isn’t very helpful with the instructions on that.

Let’s get to stat’s though. The stats are important. Dumbledore has a point there in Panel Two, and we should NOT miss out on noting the old wizard’s shrewdness.

Let’s start with the key fact: the AR game scored 3 million downloads in its first four days, and hit No. 1 in Apple’s app store with $1.1 million in gross income. That is no joke, in terms of stats. Sensor Tracker projects that “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” will gross more than $10 million in its opening month, and it’s yet to become available in two of its biggest markets, Japan and South Korea. According to Sensor Tower, while “Wizards Unite” is currently the top app in the app store this week, it has yet to reach the top 10 in revenue in any market, including the United States, where it ranks 28th.

For comparison, “Pokemon Go” got to the top spot in spending on its first day of release and stayed there for 74 consecutive days.

That’s a pretty valid comparison of market place appeal, really. Both games have a lot in common, and are built upon very similar premises. “Wizards Unite,” like “Pokemon Go,” is another game that utilizes location-based technology and augmented reality in order to play. Players walk around the real world in order to encounter magical creatures, and they can then interact with them using their camera phone that makes them appear as if they exist in a real space. Hence being able to battle a Death Eater on Overland Avenue.

The game is cute, sure…but I just don’t know how much real playability it has. My fencing team mate is a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and has a pretty lukewarm view of the game play. In terms of long term revenue, you need the long term players.

Obviously, like many phone games, it is free to download and play, but in game micro transactions give resources and “bling” to the player’s character in the Wizarding World. When you consider making 1.1 million dollars in three days on transactions from $1.99 to $9.99, with no distribution needed and no physical product…it seems like Dumbledore might be on to something.

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