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Electronic Arts has made some pretty questionable decisions over the years, but this one might be just be one of the publisher's dumbest blunders ever.
According to a new report, the company behind hits like FIFA 20 and FIFA 21 cancelled a promising Harry Potter MMORPG. Why? Because it didn't believe the Harry Potter brand had longevity. Whoever made that call must still wake up in the dead of night filled with regret
Take a look at the trailer for Hogwarts Legacy below!
Kim Salzer, EA’s director of product marketing from 2000-2003, recalled the time the publisher was attempting to get the Harry Potter MMO off the ground in a Twitch interview with streamer The Real Brandolorian (thanks, VGC).
“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,” Salzer explained.
“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.”
Even in the early 00's, Harry Potter's cultural impact seemed pretty obvious... so it's utterly bizarre to me that EA didn't have faith in the franchise being able to last more than a few years. 20 years later and the books and films are arguably more popular than ever. Impressive for a series that doesn't have an author and simply appeared out of thin air one day.
While we'll never see EA's Harry Potter MMO, fans can still look forward to the open-world RPG Hogwarts Legacy in 2022. Unless Warner Bros panics and decides the brand isn't popular enough, that is.
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