BTS, Harry Potter go global with mobile games
K-pop group BTS and the “Harry Potter” franchise are enjoying a new burst of breakout popularity due to the release of their hit mobile games.
BTS World for iOS and Android
With the seven-member K-pop sensation BTS nearing the end of their two-year sold out and extended world tour, “BTS World” is launched after a crossover with Swedish star Zara Larsson. The game lets players have a go at being the band’s manager.
The game oversees the recruitment, training, performance and commercial successes of BTS, unlocking photos and videos from the group as they go. Players can also revisit the childhood of a current member and choose an alternative life for them.
Released on June 26, the app rocketed into the upper echelons of app download charts in nearly every high-traffic international territory including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and Singapore, both as one of the most downloaded games or the most downloaded apps overall.
Harry Potter Wizards Unite for iOS and Android
After public testing in New Zealand and Australia in April and May, “Harry Potter Wizards Unite” launched in the U.S. and U.K. on June 21, and then in 140 other international territories the next day, including France, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ireland and South Africa, though not China or Russia at this time.
Like “Pokémon Go”, which was co-developed by one of its own parents, Niantic, “Wizards Unite” is an augmented reality game for mobile devices.
Screens, video cameras, and global positioning combine to present the real world as if it were hiding creatures and beings from the “Harry Potter” universe, which players can then track and battle, or strategic locations which they can attempt to control.
With the experience of “Pokémon Go” to build on, Niantic and Warner Bros are moving swiftly ahead with developing the potential of “Wizards Unite” as a second AR cultural phenomenon.
The game’s first official fan festival is set for Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, during the Labor Day holiday weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana, with event details to be announced via social media and collected on its official website, harrypotterwizardsunite.com.
Like “BTS World”, it debuted at the top of major regional app charts for both games and overall apps at launch, maintaining top 3 or top 5 positions in its second week.
(Store stats derived from App Annie rankings data captured June 28, 2019.) HM/JB