Wizards Unite, the next-gen AR game from Niantic - who brought us Pokemon Go - has confirmed that it will have launch exclusivity with EE in the UK. John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, confirmed the news at the launch of EE's new-gen 5G service in London.
While the message from the team on stage suggested that it was launching exclusively on EE in the UK, we've checked the facts and had it confirmed that everyone will have access to the game - it's just that EE customers will have access to exclusive content in the game.
EE has confirmed that EE locations will appear as Inns and Fortresses, with higher rewards and special quests - but the nature of any exclusive EE content won't be announced until a later date. There's still no word on when the game will actually launch.
The game revolves around real world exploration, using the same sort of base mapping used in previous games to bring the Wizarding World to life. It will let players become a witch or wizard, aiming to save the world from threats to the magical world as you explore the world previously brought to us by Harry Potter.
We've played an early preview of the game and it looks to be a lot more comprehensive than Pokemon Go, designed to be a "lifelong" game, that continues to develop as you play over months and years.
Hanke said that games using AR were pushing 4G to the limits, saying that 5G would really help bring these games to life, allowing a better gaming experience and allowing players to stay in sync when playing collaboratively. Hanke said that latency as low as 3ms would allow a much smoother gaming experience - which will benefit the players of Wizards Unite.
The launch of Pokemon Go saw huge problems with connectivity and 5G may help to alleviate some of that - but we also know that Niantic has done a lot more on the server side to ensure that huge numbers of games can be supported with the sort of crashes and time-outs that plagued the early days of Pokemon Go.
The new EE 5G service will be launching from 30 May 2019.
Updated following clarification from EE.