How Wizards Unite makes an unfair use of Sponsors

Editor’s Note
Title was edited after reflection. The rest of the article, we stand by it. For those suggesting that we provide constructive ideas, please know that those were passed along to the HPWU team.

Sponsored Fortresses and Inns have been a part of the game since the beginning of Wizards Unite, and we entirely understand the role they play in the survival of a free-to-play game like this one. However, when Sponsors start being used to benefit only a handful of players during an event such as Community Day with MAJOR BONUSES such as double Wizarding Challenges XP, we draw a line.

The above image confirm that yes, Sponsored Fortresses rewarded twice the usual amount of Wizarding Challenge XP during September’s Community Day, and it was intentional, yet unannounced to be (most likely) kept quiet, potentially in the hopes that it would remain unnoticed. Luckily enough, some people noticed and brought it forward.

On our end, we are quite surprised, disappointed, and yes, frustrated, to see that this event’s biggest reward (let’s be honest, increased Traces from Mysterious Artefacts compared to Wizarding Challenge XP bonus doesn’t compare) focused on Sponsored locations, which limits people’s ability to partake in the activities greatly. For instance, only three countries (USA, Germany, and South Korea) were actually able to benefit from the double Wizarding Challenge XP.

Worry not, we’ve passed on our very negative feedback onto the HPWU team already.

Given the incredible difficulty in obtaining Spellbooks, in our opinion, this kind of decision is absolutely unfair and unethical (too much, perhaps, but it’s justified). These kinds of decisions should not be implemented in a game that is literally meant to reach out people from all regions of the world.

The decision to apply such an important and significant bonus strictly to Sponsored locations has to be purely financial and aimed at satisfying the sponsors of the game, who are potentially disappointed at the traffic they are getting from their investment compared to what they were potentially expecting (when comparing to Pokémon GO).

We cannot emphasize strongly enough how decisions like this one will greatly affect many players’ motivation and will to continue support this game on the long run.

Wizards and Witches of the world, unite in expressing your disagreement with this kind of behaviour!

Yes, Sponsored locations should benefit players slightly more than non-sponsored locations, but giving them such a big bonus, giving the insane rarity of Spellbooks, is simply unfair and unethical given that so few players can actually have access to Sponsored locations.

If we compare to Pokémon GO, where Sponsored Locations are basically EX Raid eligible, it doesn’t prevent players from the rest of the world to enjoy EX Raids as they can find those in parks mainly. In other words, the sponsor system in Pokémon GO provides an advantage, but remains fair and does not disadvantage players that cannot access these locations, i.e. most of the world.

12 comments

  1. I would have to disagree with the assessment completely. It is a gorse misunderstanding of how gaming and business works. To advertise the bonus would have been dishonest but to leave it as a happy easter egg makes the game that much more fun. I personally love the ides of BIG hidden bonuses for the community to find. This easter egg was really well played on WB’s part, and I sincerely hope they do it again in the future.

    1. An Easter Egg that would not advantage specific areas so much? I would agree, but not one that help with something that players have been greatly asking for such as Spellbooks.

      In Canada, for instance, many communities have a really hard time keeping communities active, so when things like that occur, it decourages many players even more.

      1. Exactly the sponsors are footing a HUGE % of this game for us. Hopefully this does help the sponsors and that will attract more in other locations making the game that much better for everyone!

    2. Easter eggs are available for all to find, this was not James. Most of the world could not get the extra challenge XP. Despite that I don’t think people would care if had been sometime like extra time turners near the fortresses. It’s that it was such a massive gift of the challenge XP that people are grinding for hours to get outside the US that is driving the anger.

    3. I was very happy with it and I think the only issue I had was it went unannounced to the community. I feel bad for people who did not have access to this aspect of C D, perhaps in regions with no sponsored gyms they can give an additional Easter egg in the future.

  2. Your headline seemed so outrageous, I thought it was a click-bate. Seriously, “THE BIGGEST SCAM IN WIZARDS UNITE”? Perhaps you would modify it to be less provocative.

    Sponsors pay Niantic and WB for special benefits, such as cross promotions,Glowing Fortresses with their name in it, extra XP, and in game coins. This is part of the business as normal, as Starbucks/Pogo have done. Definitely, this doesn’t fit the definition of a scam, which implies someone is stealing something from someone. The players access to benefits will not be evenly distributed, just as number of nearby inns or cost of flights to Indianapolis, USA, will not be the same for everyone.

    Perhaps you can provide constructive suggestion on how Niantic/WB can attract corporate sponsors to give money to them, without providing benefits that will upset rest of the world that doesn’t have such sponsors.

  3. I am very disappointed in what happened on Community Day. The sponsored fortresses
    offer special discounts to players for their products and services to encourage business. Ok, I can live with that. But an event designed to foster community that becomes commodified as this one did, especially conferring such an important advantage, does not foster community, it fosters resentment and diminishes fun. If this happens again, I will most definitely delete this game and stop playing, which would be sad, because it has been so much fun until now.

  4. You do not bring the community together (the point of Community Day) by giving some folks an extra bonus (and knowledge of it) and others no chance of having that bonus. You put Easter eggs like this into the day-to-day aspect of the game, in a manner such that it can be spread and shared by all. Period. To do anything else is to create one community of “haves” and one community of “have nots”.

  5. Well done JIBS! This is a difficult conversation but much needed for this game to move forward.

    Left to continue there would become two very different Skill Trees, one for the favored region and a different one for the rest of the world – that is why this is a huge deal. We would be buying a different experience in the US, and a much more “grindy” experience in the rest of the World. We really would get a different, lower quality gaming experience- for the same money and time.

    No issue with Sponsored Fortresses giving a bonus – but double Challenge XP!? Really, the rest of the world is supposed to be ok with that? Not a chance!

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