Since Pokémon Go hit the app stores, people have been wondering what other fictional universes they could be fun in augmented reality. Of course, Harry Potter is one that keeps showing up.
This weekend, reports on websites such as UPROXX and HelloGiggles claimed that Niantic, the company behind the famous app, were planning on releasing one for Harry Potter fanatics. While it would certainly be cool to perform magic (nearly) for real, it’s a hoax.
That isn’t to say that Niantic couldn’t use their technology to make the app someday, but the plans haven’t been announced. All articles that claim otherwise seem to go back to the HelloGiggles post, which cites a site called JTHX News. The original article seems legit at first, citing an IGN interview with senior developer Marcus Figueroa.
Screenshot via JTHX News
However, if you click the link to the article, you’ll go to an error page. A search through IGN’s website shows no evidence the interview ever existed. Additionally, a Google search for “Marcus Figueroa” only links back to other articles about the fake app. Most interviews with Niantic have been with John Hanke, who is the founder of the company.
A quick look at the JTHX News website also brings the story into question. Its homepage is blank. Going through other stories such as “‘Arthur’ creator working on adult spin-off based on memes,” and “Denny’s waitress assaulted by Muslims for serving bacon during Ramadan” gives you a better idea of what kind of site this is: a fake news site that doesn’t use satire, but rather creates egregious, anger-inducing stories for clicks.
We wouldn’t rule out other augmented reality apps popping up in the wake of Pokémon Go along with a possible Harry Potter version just based on the hype, but for now, it’s not going to happen. If you need your Harry Potter fix now, there are plenty of other options.