This past weekend I watched the final Harry Potter movie, the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which spurred me and my girlfriend to play LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 since its available on Playstation NOW.
While playing we started talking about how cool a big-budget Harry Potter game would be, and while I was explaining the leak that took place a few years ago I felt myself grow more excited for each passing sentence. If you haven’t heard about it, strap in for this one.
Back in 2018, Reddit user VapeThis Bro leaked footage of the game, which can still be found in various places to this day. The footage showed Hogwarts, spells, magic beasts and creatures, and even a character creator. We also learned that the game was being developed by the talented team Avalanche Software (Not to be confused with Avalanche Studios, creators of the Just Cause series)
Even though Warner Bros were quick to delete both the video and mirrors, the people that watched it immediately knew that the game was real. The reason being, it was a moving, good looking, high budget trailer. Along with the video, there was a description of the game, reading as follows:
Set in the 19th Century (1800’s) Wizarding World, this 3rd person open-world action RPG game centers around your character with unique abilities who has eared a late acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You are a newly arrived 5th year student to Hogwarts that demonstrates a latent gift for magic with a unique ability to track and identify remnants of a pottant ancient power. Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize In the Forbidden Forrest and trouble begins o brew within the castle walls. Together with Professor Elezar Fig, you embark on a journey through both familiar and never before seen locations to bring to light the truth behind these mysterious occurrences. On your quest you will craft potions, master new spells, and discover fantastical beasts.
You will battle Dark Wizards, Goblins, and other supernatural enemies and uncover the truth about your destiny – the Fate of the Wizarding World lies in your hands. FEATURES – Journey to Hogwarts to become one of 8 different Wizard types -Experience Hogwarts, make new friends, uncover new secrets, and change the fate of the Wizarding world.
-Experience a new magic system that creates countless possibilities to master magic.
-Freely explore the Wizarding World for the first time., Choose your house and friends at Hogwarts, and decide to pursue a path of good or evil.
-Create your own witch or wizard, and experience a all new story separate from the books or films
Following the leak, we all assumed the game would be announced at the Game Awards 2018 or something close to it. However, to this day in 2020, we haven’t heard a single official word from Warner Bros regarding the game, leak, or even the property of Harry Potter.
However, earlier this year the game was confirmed to be in development by Bloomberg. The article is focused on how the developers handle the recent controversies regarding JK Rowling, which as late as today is releasing a(nother) transphobic book sparking yet another controversy.
The game is also reportedly set in an expansive, open-world replica of Hogwarts. It ends by saying that the game is targeted to release in 2021 on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
This begs the question, when will it be announced? Well, according to rumors it was set to be announced at E3 this year, but following COVID-19 and the cancellation of E3 it got moved. Warner Bros doesn’t have a showcase planned on its own, and since their DC lineup is seemingly finished (Except for the injustice 3 announcements taking place later this month) it’s hard to say when the game will be announced.
My guess is that they’re appearing at another show, and it’ll most likely either be at the Playstation 5 event on Wednesday, or at the Game Awards show in December. If it doesn’t appear at those, it’ll most likely have its own stream.
From the footage shown in the leak, I feel very excited about the possibilities of the game. However, I find it harder and harder to support the Harry Potter world as long as JK Rowling makes money off it. It’s a tough one and something I imagine the development team has just as much of an issue with as I do. (Again, I recommend reading the Bloomberg article)
Until we see more from it, we’ll just have to live with the LEGO games and the older movie tie-ins.