TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: Harry Potter Wizards Unite due to gross USD£10m (£7.85m) in first month; Nintendo opens second retail store; and US government blocks League of Legends in Iran and Syria.
Harry Potter Wizards Unite due to gross USD£10m in first month
Mobile AR title Harry Potter Wizards Unite is due to take in USD$10m (£7.85m) in its first month, according to data from analytics body Sensor Tower. The title shifted 400,000 units in its first day of release, grossing at least USD$300,000 (£235,300) in that time.
While this is impressive revenue for a free-to-play title, and highlights that appetite for AR titles remains strong, the estimated figures for the first month pale in comparison to publisher Niantic’s previous title Pokemon Go, which grossed USD$206m (£161.7m) during its first month. This may represent consumer fatigue on the Harry Potter IP, particularly given Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a microtransaction-heavy title from Jam City, was released in April last year.
Nintendo opens second retail store
Nintendo has opened its second official retail store, located in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, fourteen years on from its New York outlet which opened its doors in 2005. The new outlet is set to be joined by a further store to be opened in Tokyo later this year.
While traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping is declining compared to e-commerce, experiential outlets, á la Apple’s Mac stores, are continuing to thrive. Nintendo are also adept in unconventional environments, with examples including releasing the Wii during a period of emphasis on graphics.
US government blocks League of Legends in Iran and Syria
The US government has appeared to block esports giant League of Legends in Iran and Syria, amid rising tensions in the Middle East. Screenshots of the in-game client within the affected countries reads: “Due to U.S. laws and regulations, players in your country cannot access League of Legends at this time. Such restrictions are subject to change by the U.S. government, so if and when that happens, we look forward to having you back on the Rift.”
While the step of actively blocking access to video games has not been observed before, the latest news is representative of the rising trend of state involvement with game distribution. For instance, the much-covered freeze on new titles released in China by the country’s government stifled growth within the market. As gaming continues to grow and mobilise, it is expected similar interference, and retaliations, will continue to increase.