Avalanche Software's Harry Potter Game Reportedly Aiming For 2021 Release
For those of you who have been browsing on here a while, you may remember in late 2018 when we reported on leaked footage of an open-world Harry Potter game. While its veracity was uncertain at the time, sources have since confirmed the leaked footage to be authentic. The game in question is being developed by Avalanche Software, a studio working under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. According to some recent reports from Bloomberg, it sounds as if the game is still doing well, even if we haven't seen a single glimpse of it since the leaks. The report reveals that the developers are aiming to release the game in late 2021 for multiple platforms, and that despite some unlucky situations, that development goal hasn't been derailed.
You may be wondering just what those unlucky situations are. The first comes in the form of studio acquisition. According to a recent report from CNBC, it looks as if AT&T is planning to sell off the gaming side of Warner Bros. There are reportedly several potential buyers, including Activision Blizzard and EA, though a deal hasn't been made yet. Fast forward to the Bloomberg story, which reveals that, thankfully, this deal won't impact the game's release timing. Warner Bros. hasn't outright confirmed the game's existence, but thanks to leaks and various in-studio sources, we know it's only a matter of time. The other potential snafu came from Harry Potter's creator J.K. Rowling. For those who've been keeping up with her activities lately, you've probably seen all of the transphobic remarks she's been making on Twitter. The report brings this up, mentioning that while Rowling does still take part in Harry Potter-related projects, "[One of] the people working on the game stressed that Rowling has very little direct involvement." As it stands, the developers are extremely uncomfortable due to her statements.
However, even this isn't enough to mess with the game's development or release. That's heartening to hear, and hopefully, we can see more of the game in some official light relatively soon. We don't know much about it just yet, but it's supposedly going to be open-world in a setting that recreates Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry down to every detail. The game will allow players to "role play as wizards", suggesting the gameplay will be RPG in style and tone. This also hints that players will be creating their own characters to be sorted into one of the four houses, which could lead naturally into multiplayer of some kind. That's all the info we can really gain from it right now, based off of both the reports and leaks combined. It would be the first official Harry Potter game in quite a while, though, likely igniting some nostalgia in those of us who grew up playing the movie tie-ins on the early PlayStation consoles.
The game is planned to release sometime in late 2021 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. With how long it's been in development, it wouldn't be surprising to see it end up on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One either. There are some rumors going around that the game may get a full reveal sometime in August during the DC FanDome event, but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. With how big a story and world Harry Potter has surrounding it, an open-world RPG would be a perfect idea to explore it even more, even if its creator has been getting more and more troubling lately. Make sure to watch out for any new info to come out about this game over the coming months, especially in the wake of the ditched E3 2020. New announcements and trailers are popping up left and right these days because of it, so who knows what could happen.