If the announcement of Hogwarts Legacy will certainly have put the Harry Potter saga back to the forefront of gaming news, some have not always believed in its potential.
In the early 2000s, Harry Potter was the new license that rose: as impatience grew around the publication of the fifth volume, The Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling’s saga was adapted for the big screen by Chris Columbus, and Electronic Arts offers the rights to its versions in video games. For a decade, the American giant will adapt each new film into a video game, without going too far from the beaten track. And yet, it seems that some at Electronic Arts had other ambitions for the juicy license.
The spell of MMOrt
Interviewed on the Twitch channel The Real Brandolorian, Kim Salzer, the publisher’s former product marketing director in the early 2000s, said thata Harry Potter MMO has been canceled by Electronic Arts, which would not have believed in the brand’s long-term potential:
I was so personally involved in this Harry Potter MMO. We’ve done all the research, we’ve developed a beta. It was an experience that mixed online and offline games, since we would have sent gifts directly to the children, at their address.
Harry Potter and managerial restructuring
The concept was original, to say the least, but the idea did not survive the internal ceremony for the allocation of students:
We were very confident, but Electronic Arts decided to kill the project – I don’t have a better word – because there was internal change. They didn’t know or didn’t think Harry Potter was going to last beyond a year or two.
We had worked a lot, but it was mostly really fun doing research with children, it didn’t happen that often at the time in video games.
And too bad for the gifts. Even in other hands, the Harry Potter saga continues to be talked about, since the open world game Hogwarts Legacy should be talked about again in 2022, a date which unfortunately will not survive the mobile episode Wizards Unite, which will see its servers close on January 31st.