From books to movies to Harry Potter games, to say that the franchise is wildly successful is a major understatement.
And it’s still going strong: the Eddie Redmayne-led Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a film based on J.K. Rowling’s book of the same name, is coming out in November 2016.
On top of that, Pottermore.com is still chugging along with History of Magic in North America. Potterheads are also super excited over the eighth entry in the franchise: a play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with music by Imogen Heap, which is also coming out in 2016.
Alright, so we’ve got more written works, a play, and even a huge Harry Potter movie coming out this year to keep the Harry Potter universe alive. The thing is, why aren’t we seeing more Harry Potter video games? How come the Boy Who Lived hasn’t graced our PS4, Xbox One, PC’s or Nintendo consoles in so many years? Will there be a Harry Potter game in 2016?
The last Harry Potter games, Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, were both released all the way in 2011 on various platforms. This isn’t counting the Xbox 360 Kinect game, Harry Potter for Kinect, or The Book of Spells, because we’ll only be looking at the major game releases.
The video game adaptations have mostly stayed true to the source material (both the movies and the books), and while not all of the games stood out in terms of gameplay, most Harry Potter games were decently fun. EA’s game adaptations that followed each Harry Potter movie were available on most platforms, so they must not have had any problems with market reach. Performance-wise, they weren’t too crummy, either; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game gained a platinum family hits edition, and the cute and humorous Lego Harry Potter games were also met with favourable responses from fans.
Still, Harry Potter video games sort of petered out after the last movie in the series came out, which isn’t unfathomable- they’ve simply run out of source material the mainstream, movie-going crowd would be interested in. Keep in mind that some of these fans haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s books, because otherwise where’s our Marauders Era game?
The video game series might yet still live to see the end of the day, though, since we’re getting so much new material that could be used to develop games- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in particular, is a major one. Taking place before The Boy Who Lived was even born, Fantastic Beasts is host to a plethora of magical creatures, which could be excellent pieces for a Harry Potter action-driven video game. In the right hands, it could usher in a new era of Harry Potter open world games, just as long as game developers have more content to work with.
A Harry Potter and the Cursed Child video game, on the other hand, seems kind of unlikely at this point unless it gets the Hollywood movie treatment and more mainstream exposure. But it’s still possible. A Harry Potter Telltale game, perhaps?
At this point, the future of a Harry Potter video games in 2016 looks unlikely, but we can’t exactly rule out a 2017 revival either. This phoenix just might rise again. (That was horrible, I know. Sorry.)