Is Potter Go - a JK Rowling version of Pokemon Go - too good to be true?
Published 02/08/2016 | 15:05
It did seem too good to be true: a version of Pokémon Go that brings JK Rowling's wizarding world to life in our drab Muggle surroundings, instead of projecting cute fictional monsters around one's neighbourhood.
Yet news swirled enthusiastically around the world over the weekend that games developer Niantic had listened to the 40,000 people who had signed the petition Accio Harry Potter Go: We Want a Harry Potter Version of Pokemon Go! and were working on the game.
JTHX News set tongues wagging with these quotes accredited to one of Niantic's senior developers:
We have acquired the rights for the app. The demand for this title was absolutely insane, so we figured we’d give it a shot. If we’re lucky we might see a launch by early 2017, but it’s hard to tell this early in the project.
We want to do something with schools of witchcraft and wizardry, similar to Pokéstops in Pokemon GO. As well as a quest system, and possibly large scale completely interactive events, but no promises. That’s all I can say.
But JTHX News isn't a real media organisation. In fact, the website is entirely blank aside from advertisements. It's previously caught people out with fake stories claiming that an earthquake took place in Yellowstone National Park and that a waitress in a branch of US diner chain Denny's was assaulted by Muslim men for serving them bacon.
The Harry Potter Go story is perhaps a less serious claim, but one that has been picked up internationally nonetheless.
As pop culture and technology website Gizmodo point out, the Niantic developer quoted doesn't exist either: Marcus Figueroa's name only crops up in other stories about the non-existent game when googled. The interview he reportedly gave to IGN never took place.
So, wands away, Potter fans. You'll have to make do with the new wizarding two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to get a fix of new Rowling material.
As for catching 'em all, well, Eddie Redmayne will be trying to do just that asGeneric HTML magizoologist Newt Scamander in Warner Bros' next big wizarding blockbuster, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which comes out in November.