“Hello, wizards and witches!” Tiffany Haddish exclaimed as she walked out on the stage at Universal Studios Hollywood Tuesday night to host an exclusive preview event celebrating the release of the highly anticipated upcoming augmented reality (AR) real-world mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which is set to be released on June 21.
Created by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic, Wizards Unite is very much like the Pokemon Go AG mobile game released in 2016 and had the world desperately “trying to catch them all!” In fact, the game was created by the same developers, so you can expect the same fandom — and Haddish is a fan.
You may think that the Girls Trip star is an interesting choice to host such an event, but she is indeed a Potterhead. After showing a very well-produced featurette promoting the new mobile game (it legitimately looked like a scene from one of the movies — including a glimpse of someone that looked like Harry himself — you can watch it below), Haddish admitted she loved reading the books not because she loved the story but because they teach “friendship, love, loyalty and magic.” She also was a fan of the aforementioned Pokemon Go and said that she lost weight while playing the game while running around New Orleans filming Girls Trip. And for the record, Haddish is a Ravenclaw.
Wizards Unite is part of Portkey Games, the games label dedicated to creating new Wizarding World mobile and video game experiences inspired by J.K. Rowling’s stories. The mobile game has players taking on the role of a new recruit working within the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, helping to solve the mystery of the Calamity. Players can create their own avatar and immerse themselves in the Harry Potter world. While doing so, they can take their phones and explore their own real-life neighborhoods and cities to discover mysterious artifacts, cast spells, and encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way. It’s quite addicting so once June 21 rolls around and you see people roaming the streets yelling “expecto patronum” don’t be surprised.
The evening concluded by letting participants play the game around The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios playing the game and capturing monsters and saving students of Hogwarts — virtually of course. Other spotted around the park waving wands, casting spells and drinking butter beer included Ally Maki (Toy Story 4, Wrecked), Michael Pena (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Narcos: Mexico), Anders Holm (Workaholics), Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal) and Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights).