Yesterday, we reported on the new Harry Potter game from Pokémon Go developer Niantic titled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The mobile game promises to deliver the magic of J.K. Rowling’s universe in a similar manner to Pokémon Go, but it appears to be just the first step in reintroducing the wizarding world to video games. Portkey Games is a new publishing label created by Warner Bros. Interactive devoted exclusively to Harry Potter.
“Portkey Games will give Harry Potter fans the chance to be transported into the wizarding world and placed at the center of their own adventure,” an announcement read on the Pottermore website. “The games will vary from mobile to console games, and will feature both new characters and — excitingly — could feature familiar characters ‘at different points in their lives’ from the Harry Potter stories.”
The last part of this statement seems to suggest that the games could see younger versions of key characters — given that a new young Dumbledore film is in the works with Jude Law as the star, this seems plausible.
“We are working with talented creators to build games that focus on player-generated stories, which will live alongside the magical universe created by J.K. Rowling,” said Warner Bros. Interactive president David Haddad.
The term “player-generated stories” is typically reserved for role-playing games and online experiences such as Destiny 2 or The Division. Given the industry’s continued move toward “games as a service” and persistent online worlds, we wouldn’t be surprised if Harry Potter moves in this direction. With Rowling’s books only focusing on a few key areas of the universe thus far, the possibilities are almost endless, particularly if one of these games allows players to experience content that takes place after the death of Voldemort.
In the past, Harry Potter video games haven’t seen very much critical success, with the exception of the Lego Harry Potter series. 2012’s Harry Potter for Kinect was perhaps the worst of the bunch, though the 2003 spinoff Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup did offer a surprisingly good version of the sport that we frequently saw in the films. More details will be revealed on Wizards Unite in 2018.