There have been many Harry Potter games on mobile – Hogwarts Mystery and Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells being the most successful ones so far. But none are quite like Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, a game that expertly blends several genres and distinguishes itself with its unique art style.
Even though the game is very popular in the Asian market, its global release didn’t make such a big splash.
The question is: will it earn enough to dethrone Hogwarts Mystery as the top-grossing Harry Potter game?
But more on that in the article – let’s dissect this game and uncover the lessons!
Magic Awakened: A Unique Take on the Harry Potter IP
Published by NetEase and Warner Bros., under the license of Portkey Games, the game marks a significant chapter in the Harry Potter gaming franchise.
Initially released in Asia by NetEase in September 2021, it achieved remarkable success, leading to its global release in June 2023 by Warner Bros.
But Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is not your typical Harry Potter game. It distinguishes itself by combining the elements of real-time strategy, RPG, and the collectible card game, or card battler, sub-genre.
This unique blend sets it apart from its main competitors within the Harry Potter gaming world, such as Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, an adventure game, and Harry Potter Puzzles & Spells, a match-3 version of the magical world.
With over 13 million downloads in the Asian market and a significant 4 million-plus following the global release, the game’s popularity is undeniable. The financial figures speak volumes too, with player spending surpassing $300 million in Asia and almost $10 million globally. These numbers are particularly impressive, considering the relatively short time since its global launch.
However, it’s not without its critiques.
During its private beta-testing phase, some players expressed concerns about the gameplay being somewhat repetitive, particularly critiquing the card-based dueling system. Moreover, die-hard Harry Potter fans have pointed out deviations from the canonical universe, especially in aspects tailored for combat.
Despite these criticisms, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened promises a fresh perspective on the Harry Potter IP, potentially positioning itself as a top contender.
Let’s explore all of the features that make this game a hit.
What Makes Harry Potter: Magic Awakened Stand Out?
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened captures the magical essence of the Harry Potter world while introducing unique features, all of them carefully designed to maximize engagement and player spending.
The game sets itself apart with its storytelling. It invites players into a narrative set a decade after the Battle of Hogwarts – a timeline beyond Harry Potter’s era. It starts nostalgically, with Hagrid guiding the player through Diagon Alley for essential Hogwarts supplies like a wand and an owl, mirroring iconic scenes from the movies.
As players reach Hogwarts, they experience the familiar sorting hat ceremony, embedding them deep into the Harry Potter lore.
However, it’s not all about reliving the past.
A new, mysterious storyline unfolds with the disappearance of Ivy, a young witch met in Diagon Alley. It adds an original twist to the beloved narrative and introduces new characters.
Personalization and Customization Options
A key aspect of Magic Awakened is its extensive personalization and customization options. Players get to shape their avatars, choose their clothing and accessories, and even select their pet owl and wand.
The choice of Hogwarts house is a serious matter for Harry Potter fans, and Magic Awakened respects this tradition by allowing players to choose the one that resonates with them the most.
Customization is a staple in Harry Potter games, which tells us that Harry Potter fans value the ability to express their unique identity and change their appearance during gameplay.
But why are these personalization options so crucial?
For players, it adds a layer of connection and investment in the game.
For developers, it opens avenues for cosmetic monetization, a significant trend in mobile gaming. Because of that, personalization is not just about player satisfaction; it’s also a strategic business model.
Unique Art Style
Magic Awakened also sets itself apart with its unique art style.
The game’s graphics, reminiscent of detailed storybook illustrations, align perfectly with the magical theme of the Harry Potter universe. This high level of polish and charm significantly enhances the user experience.
And most importantly, the game’s visual appeal is a compelling reason for players to download the game.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened incorporates a well-structured task system that acts as a guide for players throughout the game. That results in a straightforward and engaging player journey.
This system is divided into two primary categories: story tasks and daily tasks. Story tasks propel players through the game’s narrative, while daily tasks offer ongoing challenges and incentives to keep players engaged daily.
The reward mechanism in the task system is a significant draw.
By completing tasks, players earn the game’s currency and various items. Moreover, daily login bonuses further incentivize players to engage with the game regularly, which enhances player retention.
Combat in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is a unique and dynamic experience – it sets it apart from other Harry Potter games.
Here, combat actions are executed through cards, each requiring magic points (MP) to use. However, the game elevates the traditional card-based system by allowing players to move around during combat. This addition of mobility adds a layer of strategy and immersion, as players must consider positioning alongside card selection.
Duels are a central feature of the game and come in two main types: story-driven duels that advance the narrative and ranked player-versus-player (PvP) matches. Winning duels rewards players with cards, potions, and other valuable items, which enhances their arsenal for future battles.
Furthermore, the game introduces various forms of dueling. Apart from the traditional one-on-one duels, there are duo duels (two versus two) and even a Dueling Club where players can practice and hone their skills. As players progress and win more duels, they unlock higher tiers, eventually reaching the Grand Master tier. At this level, players can engage in worldwide duels and earn a place on the global leaderboard, which adds a competitive edge to the game.
Card collection systems in mobile games like Harry Potter: Magic Awakened play a pivotal role in boosting player engagement and maximizing retention. They do so by introducing elements of strategy, personal achievement, and continuous progression.
Players are motivated to collect and upgrade cards, as well as constantly improve their gameplay experience and capabilities. This ongoing process of collection and improvement provides a sense of accomplishment and keeps players coming back for more.
In Magic Awakened, the card collection is directly tied to combat and duels, as players need to build and curate a deck of cards for combat. The game features cards of varying rarity levels, such as common and legendary, each offering different abilities and strengths.
Additionally, spells – or cards – can be upgraded to increase their health and damage, making them more potent for duels. Upgrading cards also contributes to increasing a player’s Spellbook level, which adds another layer of progression and achievement.
The inclusion of a broom-riding mechanic is a dream come true for Harry Potter fans. Players get the opportunity to fly around on a broom, exploring Hogwarts and its surroundings. This feature not only adds to the game’s immersion but also allows for an expanded exploration of the magical world.
Furthermore, players can engage in Quidditch matches, utilizing a tap-to-dodge mechanic. This adds a sports element to the game and captures the essence of one of the most beloved aspects of the Harry Potter series.
An interesting addition to Magic Awakened is the dancing mechanic, which incorporates rhythm action gameplay. This feature diversifies the gaming experience, offering a break from the usual combat and exploration activities. It’s a refreshing and enjoyable aspect that adds a unique flavor to the game.
Magic Awakened also recognizes the importance of social interaction in gaming. The game features social clubs where players can join and participate in various activities, including dancing. These clubs provide an opportunity for players to engage with others, participate in social events, and enrich their overall gaming experience.
Monetization in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened employs various monetization strategies, essential for sustaining the game long-term. Let’s explore how the game approaches monetization while maintaining player engagement.
The game offers time-limited bundles, like the Magic Within bundle, which includes wand skins, hand effects, keys, and gold. These keys are crucial for engaging in the game’s gacha system, particularly for opening card packs obtained from the Dueling Club.
An example is the Dragon’s Bounty, a collection of cosmetic items such as jewelry and makeup. These vanity boxes can also be gifted to friends, adding a social element to the game. These items are sought after for their aesthetic appeal and do not impact gameplay.
There’s also a try-before-you-buy feature for cosmetic items, which is a smart persuasion technique that encourages players to purchase these items.
The game offers free items daily and additional daily offers like hairstyles, cards, and furniture, purchasable with jewels or gold. This system encourages daily player engagement and offers a variety of customization options.
A special section in the store is dedicated to jewel offers. These jewels can be used for various in-game purchases, which offers players additional flexibility and choice.
Subscription: Monthly Card
The Monthly Card is a subscription model in the game. It rewards players with 300 jewels immediately and enables them to receive potential login rewards for 30 days. Each day, subscribers receive 80 gems upon logging in. These gems can be spent on magical and advanced studies, another avenue for obtaining cards.
Battle Pass: Magic Pass
Magic Awakened also offers a Magic Pass with different tiers:
- Deluxe Magic Pass: Priced around $10 (varies by region and currency), this pass offers enhanced rewards compared to the free version.
- Premium Magic Pass: Priced approximately at $20, this premium tier offers even greater rewards.
- Free Version: While it provides a taste of the Magic Pass, the rewards are less substantial than the paid versions.
These various monetization strategies in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened are designed to cater to different player preferences and spending habits.
From aesthetic items that enhance the personalization of the game to subscription models that reward regular play, the game offers a balanced approach. This ensures that players can enjoy the game regardless of their willingness to spend, while also providing ample opportunities for those who wish to enhance their experience through purchases.
Events in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
To finish off this analysis, let’s explore how this game keeps its player base interested and engaged.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened excels in keeping the gameplay fresh and engaging through its effective use of live operations (liveops). The game consistently introduces new content, including a variety of events, which play a crucial role in boosting player engagement and retention.
An example of a permanent event in the game is the Ruby Key Rewards. This event rewards players with ruby keys upon completing specific objectives in the yearbook. This continuous incentive encourages players to engage regularly with the game, as well as offers a sense of progression and achievement.
Some events in this game last only for a short amount of time.
One example of a time-limited event is A New Adventure, which functions as a card pool. In this event, players get a special offer where they can make 10 pulls for the price of 9 keys and are guaranteed two Mythic Cards featuring Ron Weasley.
These limited-time events create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, which encourages players to participate during the event window to reap the unique rewards.
Impact on Engagement and Retention
Limited-time live events are crucial for maintaining high levels of engagement and retention for several reasons:
- Sense of Urgency: The limited availability of these events compels players to log in and participate within the event duration.
- Exclusive Rewards: Offering unique rewards that are only available during specific events encourages players to take part in these events to obtain items or benefits they can’t get at any other time.
- Fresh Content: Regularly updated events keep the game dynamic and prevent it from becoming stale. This constant influx of new content keeps players curious and excited about what’s coming next.
- Community Building: Events often have a communal aspect, either through competition or collaboration, which fosters a sense of community among players.
- Balanced Gameplay: For players who do not wish to spend money, events offer alternative ways to obtain exclusive items or benefits.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened – Final Thoughts
Here’s the thing – Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is shaking things up in the world of mobile gaming! This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Harry Potter game; it’s a game-changer, literally.
It takes what people love about Harry Potter, throws in a mix of RPG, strategy, and card battles, and voila – you got something that’s both familiar and excitingly new.
First off, the game is not just rehashing the same old story. The creators got players exploring Hogwarts with a fresh set of eyes, a decade after the famous Battle of Hogwarts. This move is clever – it keeps Harry Potter fans hooked with nostalgia while adding new layers to the storyline. And let’s not forget the game’s look – those storybook-style graphics are like a love letter to the magical world we all adore.
But here’s the kicker: Magic Awakened isn’t just about cool graphics and a new story. It’s smart in its approach to keeping players engaged and, let’s be honest, opening their wallets. From personalized avatars to in-app purchases, the game balances fun with business savvy. It’s like they know exactly what buttons to push to keep players coming back for more.
What really sets Magic Awakened apart, though, is how it understands the Harry Potter charm. It’s not just about casting spells or dueling (which, by the way, are super fun with the card system). It’s about feeling part of that magical universe. Whether it’s choosing your house or flying on a broom, the game gets what makes Harry Potter special.
For other game developers out there, take notes – this is how you keep players under your spell!