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Expectations are high for Harry Potter Wizards Unite. As Niantic’s follow up game to Pokémon Go (PGO), it has all the makings for a hit: PGO game mechanics and IP/brand that’s almost as strong as Pokémon Itself. And the former has gotten stronger with Niantic’s Real World platform.

Likely applying that logic and other app signals it tracks, App Annie predicts that the game will make $100 million in its first 30 days. This seems like a lot but actually indexes low relative to the top mobile gaming titles of the recent past, such as Candy Crush and Clash of Clans.

But a more apt comparison: how does that stack up to PGO? If it hits the projected milestone it will be twice as fast as PGO’s early pace. Though the game will carry PGOs halo effect and evolved architecture, it’s a question of how the brand equity stacks up to Pokémon (likely lower but close).

The other important projection from App Annie’s latest release is the growth in number of apps that employ In-app purchases (IAP) as a revenue model. We’ve been vocal about projecting IAPs prevailing role as a revenue model for mobile AR, partly due to its dominance in the app economy.

IAP’s current footing is important because it has conditioned user behavior and comfort levels. That will flow into mobile AR for lots of reasons. For one, a new/unproven technology will have further adoption friction if it also tries to change user behavior around paying for experiences.

ARtillry Intelligence survey data with Thrive Analytics indicates that consumers aren’t yet willing to fork over upfront dollars for AR premium apps. In-App purchases will be the way to ease them in. Aside from reducing friction, IAP has favorable unit economics such as lifetime customer value.

Back to Pokémon Go, it provides yet another point of validation for IAPs role in the mobile AR app economy. It has generated $2 billion to date – by far the largest single revenue driver in mobile AR – most of which was from IAP. We expect a similar model from Harry Potter, Wizards Unite.

As a side note, Niantic has brought a signature thematic spin to the Harry Potter game. Its look and feel combine Harry Potter’s endearing British prep-school stylings, with Ingress’ retro-military style. The latter also carries a touch of Dharma Initiative-like iconography and mystery.

We’ll be waiting eagerly…

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Disclosure: AR Insider has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header image credit: Niantic