Over the weekend an exciting “announcement” about “Harry Potter GO” went viral online, but unfortunately it’s not true.
Several irresponsible websites — some of them very silly looking, which should’ve been the first sign that this story was false — “reported” that the team behind Pokémon GO had begun developing a Harry Potter version of the game.
The story naturally went viral because the premise sounded very exciting, especially because J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts movie — filled with Pokémon-like creatures — is arriving later this year. Harry Potter GO could’ve been the perfect app to promote the new Wizarding World movie!
But the sourcing on the story, reported by clickbait sites, was weak. They cited IGN and linked to an article on the video game website, but the link just returned a 404 error.
Today, IGN confirmed that they never reported anything about Harry Potter GO:
— IGN (@IGN) August 1, 2016
I’m aggravated that this story went viral. I was lucky enough to be at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Cursed Child Eve, and while riding the Hogwarts Express, a passenger in my train cabin told me about the Harry Potter GO story floating around online. He was convinced the game was happening.
Since I had no interest in disappointing someone while they were riding the Hogwarts Express, I decided to act like he was right and told him that’s so damn cool that they’re doing that, but in my head I was sad. It sucks that websites purposely lie to people for clicks.
Although this particular story is fake, I’m sure Fantastic Beasts’ promotional team is looking at the success of Pokémon GO and trying to figure out how they can do something this November or for the sequel in November 2018. Just like Newt, we Harry Potter fans wanna catch all the beasts.