Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming RPG set in the Harry Potter universe, will likely be one of the bigger games with that license. Even though there have been other Harry Potter games before, it seems as though Electronic Arts was also making a huge Harry Potter game of its own in MMO form when it had the license. However, it allegedly got hit with the Avada Kedavra curse and died before it could come out.
— The Real Brandolorian (@Brandolorian17) December 21, 2021
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This news came to light during an interview held by streamer The Brandolorian. The clip, which he provided in the above tweet, was with Kim Salzer and Brandon Sivret, the former of whom worked at EA from 2000 to 2003 as director of product marketing. After being asked about any games that she was involved in that got away, she started speaking about said Harry Potter game.
“A big one for me because I was so personally involved in it, and it’s such a huge IP that has lived on, is an online massively multiplayer game for Harry Potter,” she said. “We did all the research. We had the beta built out. It was a combination of online and offline experience where we would actually mail stuff to the kids like prizes and ribbons and stuff like that. Thoroughly researched. Very confident in success of this. But it was killed, for lack of a better term, because EA was going though some changes at that time and they didn’t know or believe enough that that IP would have a shelf life longer than a year or two.”
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She continued, reiterating how much she enjoyed the project.
“There had been a lot of work done and it was a fun one, too, because we were doing research with kids and we didn’t get to do that very often back then in gaming.”
She didn’t give an exact time frame for this alleged cancelation, but given her three-year tenure at EA, this probably happened right after the first or second film or after the fourth book. While still a successful series in the early 2000s, it had not become the powerhouse it evolved into in later years. However, EA likely saw some promise in the franchise as it released video games based on every one of the films starting in 2001.