EA Apparently Axed A Harry Potter MMO

EA Apparently Axed A Harry Potter MMO
Warner Bros. | Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Tom Chapman


23rd Dec 2021 11:47

Even all these years later, we're still partial to a pint of butterbeer over at the Leaky Cauldron. It's crazy to think that some 24 years after Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first released, we're still under the spell of the wizarding world. In 2021, the idea of a cancelled Harry Potter MMO is a big one.

Transcending J.K. Rowling's book series, the Harry Potter name has moved into everything from movies to stage plays, and video games. Safe to say, we've come a long way from the pixelated Hagrid on the PlayStation, but along the way, we've had plenty of missed opportunities. 

What Was The Harry Potter MMO?

Despite some massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) being decades old, the genre is alive and well in 2021. Big hitters still include the likes of The Elder Scrolls OnlineStar Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft. With the Harry Potter franchise still raking in billions every year, it's easy to imagine the money-making magic of an MMO. 

During a Twitch interview with streamer The Brandalorian, Former VP of Global Brand Management for Activision and Director of Product Marketing for EA Kim Salzer confirmed EA passed on a Harry Potter MMO because it didn't think the IP had enough staying power.

Discussing what went wrong, Salzer said, "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." Expanding on how far the idea got, Salzer added, "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.

"Thoroughly researched, very confident in the success of this. 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 that IP would have a shelf-life longer than a year or two."

What Happened To The Harry Potter MMO?

Salzer doesn't reveal when all this took place, however, her LinkedIn says she was EA's Director of Product Marketing at EA between 2000 and 2003. It's likely this is when the project was thought of but not mapped out.

The world of Harry Potter video games also hit something of a lull when the book series and movies stopped being made. All that changed thanks to Fantastic Beasts taking over the box office, and now, we're looking ahead at Hogwarts Legacy

Harry Potter MMO is all well and good, but in 2022, we'll finally get our wish of an open-world game. Although Hogwarts Legacy was originally set to be released in 2021, Avalanche Software and Warner Bros. made the decision to delay it until next year.

There's a lot going on with Hogwarts Legacy - especially as it's the first story not to be written by Rowling. Set in the 1800s, this Harry Potter prequel will apparently include transgender character options, a mortality system, and the ability to use the Dark Arts. We're more than ready to hand over our Galleons. 

Knowing what we know now, EA is likely kicking itself. Potter Mania was/is everywhere, and if EA had held out a few more years, it could've made a Gringotts vault full of money off a Harry Potter MMO. Sadly, it looks like we'll have to make do with Hogwarts Legacy and hope it can deliver on its hype. 


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