EA was working on a large MMO for Harry Potter – but completely misjudged it

The big publisher and developer EA was apparently working on a major MMO in the Harry Potter universe around 20 years ago, but then discontinued it for reasons unimaginable today.

What game did EA want to make? We were talking about an MMO in the Harry Potter universe. The game should also have offline content and combine this with the online content. How this should look like in the game is not explained. Individual missions that you play alone or with a group would be conceivable, mixed with certain hub areas where you can meet several players. But that is speculative at this point.

Where does the information come from? In an interview on the YouTube channel Original Gamer Life, Kim Salzer talks about the game and her disappointment that it did not materialize. According to her LinkedIn profile, Salzer was Director of Product Marketing at EA from 2000 to 2003. So we can assume that the information about the Harry Potter game is correct.

How far has the development been? Apparently not very far. Salzer says in the video that they have already conducted surveys and had a rough plan for what the game might look like. She also says that she and her team were convinced that the title could be successful. But that EA ultimately decided to discontinue the project is a shame to this day, as she mentions in the interview.

“We didn’t think the brand would establish itself”

Why was the work stopped? At the time the MMO was being planned, the Harry Potter brand was comparatively fresh. In July 1997 the first book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was published. The first film adaptation of the books followed in 2001 and was a great success. However, EA apparently thought that this success would not be long-lasting and therefore decided to discontinue the MMO.

“We didn’t think that the brand could establish itself and be successful for more than a year or two,” says Salzer in an interview. That was probably EA‘s reason why the team had to stop working on the MMO.

How did the development go down? According to their own statements, Salzer’s team was very disappointed about the cancellation of the title. “We have already done surveys and also worked with children, it was really fun. I was convinced that the game could be a success. ”

She also only talks about the game when her interview partner asks which game in her career would have particularly hyped her. Salzer then says it was supposed to be a Harry Potter MMO and she was really excited about it.

“There are a lot of reasons a Harry Potter MMO could go under, but brand longevity isn’t one of them”

How is the community reacting? An excerpt from the interview with Salzer was shared in a thread on reddit, which already received 6,729 upvotes and 1,392 comments within 20 hours. These comments are mixed in nature. Many seem certain that an MMORPG would have perished during this time and the decision to kill the MMO was a good one.

Still other voices say that they are happy with EA‘s decision, otherwise Star Wars: The Old Republic might not have happened. The discussions under the post are wide-ranging into various topics. They only agree on one thing: the reason for abandoning the game. Because today, about two decades later, it is clear that the Harry Potter brand has established itself very well.

In conclusion, it can only be said with certainty that there was no need to worry about the longevity of the Harry Potter brand. The first book alone sold over 120 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time.

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