Rumours about an open world Harry Potter RPG have circled the gaming world for several years, with frequent leaks and development news hyping up its release. In the last few months, this news has heated up with frequent rumours Warner Bros. is on the cusp of a full reveal. Here’s everything we know about the game so far, and what its reveal could entail.
It’s reportedly set for a 2021 release on PS5, Xbox Series
According to a Bloomberg report, the upcoming Harry Potter RPG is set for a 2021 release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This information was leaked to Bloomberg by two developers who raised concerns about the game’s involvement with J.K. Rowling.
Rowling made headlines recently over some transphobic comments and her repeated dismissal of trans people. Developers told Bloomberg the studio’s lack of acknowledgement of this backlash created an uncomfortable atmosphere during development.
Coupled with coronavirus-induced delays, developers had some doubts around the release of the game — but they reportedly seemed confident the game would be able to meet a set 2021 window.
It’s being developed by Avalanche Software
Avalanche Software was named as the developer of the Harry Potter RPG in Bloomberg’s report about studio unhappiness. This Utah-based company is most known for being the creators of the now-defunct Disney Infinity franchise. It also developed the popular Tak series and several Disney movie spin-offs.
The company was bought by Warner Bros. in 2017 and has likely been working on the Harry Potter brand since then.
We’ll know more about the game by spring
Warner Bros. is holding their DC FanDome event in August. This is designed as a replacement for the usual announcements at both E3 and San Diego Comic-Con (both delayed due to coronavirus). It should reveal some great surprises about their upcoming video game slate, with more excitement to follow.
According to the Harry Potter RPG developers who spoke to Bloomberg, the Harry Potter game is set to be revealed soon after the DC FanDome event, likely to give the DC reveal a bit of breathing room (Suicide Squad and Gotham Knights games are both rumoured to appear).
After years of speculation and leaks, we hope to see a substantial announcement later this spring, or a deeper dive into some of the features we’ve already heard about via leaks.
It’ll include an open world Hogwarts
In 2018, an supposed early build of the game was taped and posted online. Redditor VapeThisBro leaked footage of an open world-style Harry Potter game featuring a range of offensive spells and familiar locations like Hogwarts’ Great Hall and Hogsmeade.
While it would be easy to dismiss a leak like this, it wasn’t long before Warner Bros. legal team came calling. Every video shared online — even GIFs of the leaked video — were struck from the internet by copyright claims.
Warner Bros. is named as the rights holder for the footage and the reason for this takedown, confirming the belief the footage was real. Of course, Warner Bros. has never actively claimed credit for it or confirmed its existence, so there’s still some room for doubt.
Still, the speed at which it was scrubbed from the internet is telling and could reveal more about the open world, action-heavy direction.
It could be a prequel
Alongside the leaked video, VapeThisBro (who claims to have played the game as part of a survey group) posted a full description of the game as it appeared in 2018. It’s important to note the game’s long development cycle means this description and plot may have changed in the years since. Here’s what it said:
Set in the 19th Century (1800’s) Wizarding World, this 3rd person open-world action RPG game centres around your character with unique abilities who has earned 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 [sic] 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.
- 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
The open world nature of the game is confirmed here, as well as the focus on dynamic, player-driven gameplay. It’s important to take this description with a pinch of salt due to its unverified nature, but there are some very exciting details here. The 19th Century Wizarding World is one yet to be explored in either the books or the films, so it could provide some great freedom for the developers to tell a truly engaging and original story.
That said, reports from earlier in 2020 refute this description and claim the game is a action-adventure sequel taking place after the events of the book instead. This report has also not been verified, and comes from an anonymous source on Reddit who claimed to work for Warner Bros.
Neither description has officially been confirmed, so it’s possible neither reflect the current state of the game. Still, both present intriguing ideas with boundless, exciting potential.
Until Warner Bros. is ready to share more details about the upcoming game, all we’re left with is crumbs of information from anonymous sources and leaks. Still, there’s enough here to highlight the very real potential of the title. Fans have been clamouring for an open world Harry Potter adaptation for years, and we might just see that dream come true soon.
Stay tuned for more news and information about the upcoming Harry Potter RPG and other exciting games at Kotaku Australia.