A former Electronic Arts executive has revealed that the company killed a massively multiplayer online Harry Potter game in the early 2000s. Why? Because it didn't believe in the longevity of the franchise.
In an interview with Twitch streamer The Real Brandolorian, Kim Salzer, EA's director of product marketing form 2000-2003 said the Harry Potter MMO was one of the projects she was most invested in during her time at EA.
"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," she said.
"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."
EA no longer holds the rights to Harry Potter, making a revival of the project impossible. Warner Bros. retains those rights under its label Portkey Games, and currently has them lent out to Avalanche Software, the studio working on the upcoming open-world action RPG Hogwarts Legacy. Legacy is set for release in 2022 following a delay.