Image: Warner Bros.

A former EA executive has shared that EA had once considered making a Harry Potter MMO. Kim Salazar (director of product marketing from 2000-2003) said the publisher once held the game rights for the popular franchise. The topic came up when she was asked what game she most regretted never getting made during her tenure.

“We did all the research, we had the beta built out, it was a combination offline/online experience where we’d actually mail stuff to the kids, like prizes and ribbons and stuff like that.”

EA decided the game wouldn’t have staying power and that it would only last around two years. The decision was further fueled by changes in the company.

“But it was killed, for lack of a better term, because EA was going through changes at that time and they just didn’t know or believe enough that the IP would have a shelf-life longer than a year or two.”

It may have been for the best considering its ongoing controversy over microtransactions and loot boxes in games aimed at minors. One could only imagine the ramifications those could have had in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Portkey Games is working on its own open-world RPG project slated for a 2022 release.

Source: The Real Brandolorian (via VGC)

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

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4 Comments

  1. [QUOTE]
    Fun fact: You can see evidence of this from around 2003 in the Matrix Online executable in the code to auth with SOE servers. I noticed this recently and couldn’t actually find any mention of Harry Potter Online around the internet. [URL=’https://t.co/yGaC49Ip3K’]pic.twitter.com/yGaC49Ip3K[/URL]— Nyx! (@Nyxiva)…
    [/QUOTE]

    That might explain why it never came to pass – EA and SOE were huge competitors. I could easily believe those two would never come to terms to partner on anything really.

  2. Just imagine the marketing genius you could do. Have customized letters delivered for kids that invited them by name to an online hogwarts. You could have the online lobby or login area be platform whatever and a half. Let parents pre purchase “real” items like Bluetooth wands the kids use in game. Subscriptions to fund rewards like little plastic finches or whatever the thing was Harry caught. Microtransactions for fast healing potions and other things like that in the game. Cross promotion with candy companies like the movie did. And so on.. maintaining an more interesting and expansive world with successive movies directly tieing into expansions or graduated editions of the game expanding on the Harry Potter metaverse.

    Even tie in special chapters into the books that integrate your characters names that are of course digital only. Maybe a chapter where you help the protagonist. You get the idea.

    Ah well what could have been.

  3. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 45592, member: 215″]
    Just imagine the marketing genius you could do. Have customized letters delivered for kids that invited them by name to an online hogwarts. You could have the online lobby or login area be platform whatever and a half. Let parents pre purchase “real” items like Bluetooth wands the kids use in game. Subscriptions to fund rewards like little plastic finches or whatever the thing was Harry caught. Microtransactions for fast healing potions and other things like that in the game. Cross promotion with candy companies like the movie did. And so on.. maintaining an more interesting and expansive world with successive movies directly tieing into expansions or graduated editions of the game expanding on the Harry Potter metaverse.

    Even tie in special chapters into the books that integrate your characters names that are of course digital only. Maybe a chapter where you help the protagonist. You get the idea.

    Ah well what could have been.
    [/QUOTE]
    Exactly. As some of the people on the Twitter thread already stated, the folks in charge at EA should have their heads examined. They obviously missed out on an opportunity of immense proportions and were truly, once again, out of touch with the fanbase. Considering their microtransactions strategy it’s beyond belief they couldn’t figure this out back then.

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