Recently there’s been an exciting development that just might change your whole perception of the Harry Potter franchise. No – unfortunately J.K. Rowling hasn’t announced the official sequel to her beloved fantasy series – but we just might have a second best thing on our hands. Ready? Drumroll, please! It seems that we’ll finally have the chance to enjoy the genuine, full-blooded third-person action RPG set in the wizarding world of J. K. Rowling. A montage which showcases several elements of the game (including character generation, few environments which will hopefully be featured in the game, as well as combat system) had ended up on YouTube lately, only to be blocked by Warner Bros almost as soon as it was uploaded. Thanks to this footage and a text that awfully reminds on some official blurb, we know quite a few things about this potential new Harry Potter game – certainly more than enough to tickle our imagination.
The game will take place in the 19th century, a wizarding world timeline we haven’t had the chance to sample so far. According to our sources, your character will be a newcomer to the Hogwarts, since you’ve only recently discovered that you possess an affinity for magic. However, although you’re a Johnny-come-lately into the world of magic, you’ll actually possess a unique ability to attune to the fragments of some “potent ancient power”. Your arrival to the 5th year at Hogwarts triggers a series of strange occurrences, starting from the Forbidden Forest and then spreading like a shockwave through entire Hogwarts. With the help of someone called Professor Elezar Fig, you’ll have a job to get to the bottom of this mystery. The “blurb” also mentions that you’ll be able to freely choose between 8 different wizard types, your gender, affiliation to one of four houses of Hogwarts and whether you’ll thread the path of a good or evil magician.
The action-packed leaked footage shows strolls through several familiar environments such as Great Hall at Hogwarts, a greenhouse where herbology lessons take place and Diagon Alley among the others. It also showcases encounters with several types of magical creatures, including something that looks like a fully grown Graphorn. Although footage itself is kind of blurry, it seems that visual representation will be on a very high level indeed. However, a thing that impressed us the most is a combat system which possesses the level of grittiness, gore, and violence reminiscent of the darkest moments of final two books in the Harry Potter series. It seems that you’ll be able to wield not only benign schoolboy spells such as Lumos, Expulso, Alohamora or Reparo (featured in the footage) but, depending on your alignment, also more dangerous magic, perhaps even unforgivable curses. The footage shows a character engaged in a combat with a group of goblins, as he remorsefully unleashes a barrage of magic attacks upon them.
Unfortunately, the only thing that potentially can burst our bubble is the legitimacy of this leaked footage – or rather lack of it. The source for this leaked material is a Reddit user who calls himself VapeThisBro. He claims that he was approached in the mall by some unknown person who offered him 8 bucks if he agrees to watch a video trailer for some game. As it turned out, the game in question was this unnamed and still unconfirmed Harry Potter video game, which he sneakily filmed using his phone, while “blurb” was provided by the staff he described as marketing representatives.
So, in the end, what exactly is this footage – an authentic leak or a colossal scam? The truth of the matter is: we still don’t know. Warner Bros, which currently hold the rights for Harry Potter brand, haven’t made any official announcement to approve or disapprove this claims. The fact that the video was quickly deleted from YouTube suggests that this whole tall tale might actually be true. After all, the amount of detail and effort that obviously went into the making of this high-quality video is a bit too much for a common prank. Some sources mention Avalanche Software (actually owned by Warner Bros) as a potential developer of new Potter game, especially since last year they last year had announced that they are looking for writers with “deep understanding of British culture“ skilled in “gaming narrative and branching storytelling, particularly in the realm of RPGs”. Call me a conspiracy buff, but perhaps it’s even possible that everything was orchestrated by Warner Bros so that they can start building an early hype about the game. Who knows? All we can do is to exercise our patience for a while and see whether the future will actually bring us this long-coveted Harry Potter RPG.