EA canceled a Harry Potter MMO because it didn’t think the IP would last

An interview with a former Electronic Arts employee sheds light on an ambitious but canceled Harry Potter massively multiplayer online game.


mmo harry potter

Harry Potter could have a big impact on the gaming world in 2022. The massive IP will see the release of an open-world action role-playing game in Hogwarts Legacy Next year, a title that has the chance to be among the best licensed games in recent memory. However, years ago fans could have seemingly had the chance to enjoy an ambitious massively multiplayer online game. Harry Potter game, if it had not been cancelled.

It is now common knowledge that Harry Potter is among the most popular and beloved franchises in film, books, and beyond. However, this has not always been the case. Unlike the likes of The Lord of the Rings or other IPs that Harry Potter can be compared to, Harry Potter is not an entity more than fifty years old that has stood the test of time. Only the fourth Harry Potter book (2000) had just come off the press when the first Harry Potter the movie (2001) was released. At that time, although popular, not everyone believed the franchise would be as popular as it is today. Count EA among the skeptics.

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Recently, Kim Salzer, who was the Director of Product Marketing for EA from 2000 to 2003, informed the gaming masses of some very interesting Harry Potter treats. In an interview with Original Gamer Life, Salzer says she was personally involved in a huge MMO for Harry Potter. The game has been developed enough that a beta version is available internally. The team had an online and offline component to the game. The team even planned to physically send prizes, ribbons, and more to players. However, the project was “killed” by EA.


Salzer says the team researched the project extensively and were very confident in the success of the Harry Potter MMOs. However, EA was apparently going through changes at the time and didn’t think the IP would last longer than a year or two. It would have been between 2000 and 2003, and maybe the first movie hadn’t even been released yet. So EA made some predictions and decided they didn’t want to bet on Harry Potter. The decision simply turned out to be the wrong one.

Over the years, the Harry Potter the games have mostly been movie tie-ins and LEGO titles. It certainly would have been interesting to see a great MMO video game start early and live alongside the movies and books for years to come – updated with each new story advancement. Decades later, fans are thrilled to Hogwarts Legacya game that will have to meet high expectations.


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