Harry Potter is getting the Pokemon Go treatment

And new Harry Potter games are coming to game consoles, too.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read

"There's a hidden world that lies just beneath the surface, filled with magical creatures that only some people can see." 

Did I just describe the wizarding world of Harry Potter -- or Pokemon Go, the incredibly popular augmented-reality game? 

Pokemon Go, in case you're somehow unaware, is about catching tiny cute monsters that have mysteriously appeared in the real world.

GIF by Sean Hollister/CNET

Soon, the answer may be "both," because Pokemon Go developer Niantic has announced a partnership with Warner Bros. to bring Harry Potter to an augmented-reality phone game as well. 

Details about the new game are practically nonexistent: Literally all we know: "Players will learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies," and that there will be some "mysterious artifacts" to find as well. 

There's no release date, either -- only a promise that we'll learn more about the game in 2018. Niantic declined to say more.

(Fun fact: Dedicated fans of Niantic's first AR game, Ingress, would often call non-players "muggles" -- a Harry Potter term that refers to people who don't possess magical powers. Wizards and Ingress players alike would try to avoid drawing their suspicion.)

It's not surprising the owners of the Harry Potter license would want a piece of the Pokemon Go action. Not only does the concept make sense, but it could be wildly profitable. While Pokemon Go is often considered a fad, it's way bigger than you might think. 

Niantic isn't the only one making new Harry Potter games, by the way -- Warner Bros. has formed a new studio, Portkey Games, to bring new licensed titles to game consoles as well.

"With Portkey Games, we are thrilled to answer the fans' requests for more games inspired by J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World," said David Haddad, President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, in a statement. "We are working with talented creators to build games that focus on player-generated stories, which will live alongside the magical universe created by J.K. Rowling."