It is one of the biggest disappointments of this year for Dutch and Belgian Harry Potter fans. The free mobile game Harry Potter: Magic Awakened was launched worldwide, except in the Netherlands and Belgium. Still, there is a way how you can just play this one.
Games for iPhone and Android are often “meh. Still, there are quite a few that are definitely worth playing. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is certainly one of them. The game is made by the same studio as Hogwarts Legacy, but playable for Dutch gamers it is not.
Why Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is not in the Netherlands and Belgium
Exactly why that is, Warner Bros. Games is not making any statements about that. And it is probably because of this sensitive point: loot boxes. There are some in this free game for Android and iPhone, but they don’t affect the game too much.
The Netherlands and Belgium want to curb this phenomenon, yet it’s not so easy. For example, the Dutch Gaming Authority wanted FIFA Ultimate Team stopped because it would be a game of chance. Although maker EA was previously imposed a penalty payment by the court in The Hague, this was eventually withdrawn by the Council of State.
Although loot boxes still seem to be possible so far due to the State Council ruling, the makers of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened do not seem to want to take any chances and are not releasing the game yet.
Of course, it is possible to remove this gameplay element from the game, but it makes sense for Warner Bros. Games not to do so. After all, it is the revenue model of the game, since it is free. Modifying the whole system, of course, also costs money.
What are loot boxes?
Lootboxes are virtual packages that players can buy in video games. They contain random in-game items, such as cosmetic skins or powerful weapons. Players often pay with real money in hopes of getting valuable rewards. It has received criticism for potential addiction risks and lack of transparency.
Here’s how to play Harry Potter: Magic Awakened anyway
Nevertheless, it is still possible to play the game. This requires a detour, but for the true Harry Potter fan this is of course not a problem. They can simply play the game on their iPhone or Android.
To play Harry Potter: Magic Awakened you need to change the location of the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iPhone. We explain how to do this.
Changing location Google Play Store for Android
If you have an Android phone, you need to take the following steps to play Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.
Install a VPN and set it to the country whose Play Store you want to use.
Tap the hamburger menu and then “account.”
Click on “Countries and profiles” and change your country there. It is most convenient to choose an EU or EEA country, such as Germany or France, where the game is available.
Add a payment method and then you can use the Play Store from that country.
Once you have done that, you can switch between the Netherlands and the other country in your Google account from now on. Just keep in mind that you can only change your country once a year.
Return to Hogwarts. (Image: Netease)
On an Android, it is additionally possible to download a so-called APK file of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened to still put it on your phone. Still, this is a risk, as you have to check carefully if it is actually from the game itself, or if people with evil intentions have created it to capture your data.
Changing App Store location for iPhone
If you want to play Harry Potter: Magic Awakened on your iPhone, you need to take slightly different steps than on an Android device. We explain the steps to you below.
Create a new Apple ID in a region where Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is available.
Then set up your VPN so that it looks like you are in that country.
Change your location through Settings > General > Language and Region > Region.
Now when you open the App Store with your other Apple ID, you will see other apps. This is a less drastic solution than changing the location of your own Apple ID.
Become a real wizard, (Image: Warner Bros. Games)
Still, there are things to watch out for. Some apps from our country are not available in other countries due to politics banning them, for example. In addition, some apps have a so-called 90-day lockout, which prevents you from using them.