EA reportedly canceled Harry Potter MMO over popularity fears

Warner Bros.

Aspiring wizards have been clamoring for a quality Harry Potter game for many years. With Hogwarts Legacy on the horizon, a former EA employee has revealed that the publisher canceled a Harry Potter MMO many years ago when the franchise was still young.

Ever since the first movie starring Daniel Radcliffe became a global smash-hit, Harry Potter fans have been crying out for a top-tier video game. While the tie-ins released at the time were fine enough, there’s always been a sense of missed opportunity about the Wizarding World.

Thankfully, Hogwarts Legacy is on hand to hopefully give Potterheads what they’re after. But they may be surprised to hear that a Harry Potter MMO was actually in development around the time the films took off.

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Surprisingly, publisher EA “killed” the project before it materialized. According to a former EA employee, the reason for the cancellation is that they didn’t know if the Harry Potter series would prove to be a lasting success.

Hogwarts Legacy Harry Potter dragonWarner Bros. Games
Thanks to Hogwarts Legacy, fans won’t have to wait much longer for their dream Harry Potter game.

Speaking in an interview with Twitch streamer TheRealBrandolorian, Kim Salzer, EA’s Director of Marketing from 2000-2003 was asked about games she was involved with that never hit shelves.

EA had the rights to make Harry Potter games at the time, and Salzer revealed that an MMO set in the universe reached the beta stage of development before it was scrapped.

“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 said.

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Thoroughly researched, [we were] very confident in the success of this,” she continued. “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.”

Salzer didn’t reveal too much about the canceled game, but did confirm that it was set to be “a combination offline/online experience” where “prizes” could be mailed out to the kids playing.

We don’t have an exact timeline of events, but based on when Kim Salzer worked at the company the MMO was likely in development around the time of the two movie releases. The Harry Potter series would go on to be the third-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, racking up over $7 billion dollars at the box office.

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“It’s pretty crazy to look back at, and there had been a lot of work done too,” she added. “We were doing research with kids, and we didn’t get to do that very often back then in gaming.

While there’s no doubt that EA missed out on the success of Harry Potter all those years ago, fans will be relieved to know that they can finally get their fix once Hogwarts Legacy drops in 2022.

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