Harry Potter fans from around the world have been aching for a proper Harry Potter game since the novels and movies released in early 2000. The internationally successful franchise has numerous fans gripped by the fantastical world of magic. Unfortunately, most of the games to come out from the series have mostly been blatant cash grabs. However, a new hope was ignited in the hearts of fans following the leak of a gameplay video of Hogwarts Legacy in October of 2018.
After all this time
It’s been two years since the accidental leak of a new-gen Harry Potter game and we finally have something concrete. Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming immersive, open-world action RPG. The game is set in the wizarding world made popular in the Harry Potter books but in a vastly different timeline. Players will take the role of a Hogwarts student in the 1800s, over a century before Harry Potter’s time. The player character will be the crux point of a mystery embroiling the school.
Avalanche Software heads the project as the game’s developers. They are mostly known for their trilogy of Disney Infinity games. Hogwarts Mystery will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2021. Details regarding the game have been unsurprisingly sparse especially considering the early leak in 2018.
The world before Harry Potter
It’s a bold marketing move to entirely ditch the Harry Potter branding on the game’s title. Avalanche seems to be banking on the popularity of the Hogwarts brand and has pinned all its hopes on it. It’s a natural move to launch the game without the famous wizard’s name emblazoned on the cover, or on the store page if you’re purchasing it on PC or online. This one small marketing move is a subtle reminder that Harry Potter is not the key character of the story, rather it is the player at the heart of the mystery.
Fans love Harry Potter. It is an indisputable fact at this point in time. We have followed his story across seven novels, eight movies, and numerous other forms of media. It is now time for the hero wizard to step aside so that a new story may flourish. The official Hogwarts Legacy website features one tagline in big bold letters, “LIVE THE UNWRITTEN”. Despite the glaring absence of substantial game information, it is clear what the game developers hope to achieve with this outing. It is the promise of a personal story forged outside of Harry Potter that is this game’s biggest draw point. It absolutely helps that the game is set over 100 years prior to the timeline of the first novel in the series. Hopefully, the rest of the game lives up to the promise and expectation built by the marketing materials.
Getting out of detention
It’s difficult not to temper expectations ahead of this new game release. Games set in the Harry Potter universe have been unkind to hopeful fans in the past. One of the series’ most recent game outing was the mobile adventure game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Reviewers panned the game because of its oppressive energy system that stunted substantial story progress. Hogwarts Mystery launched with a predatory microtransaction system in place. It capitalized on the fans’ love for Harry Potter and expected them to shell out money just to advance the story.
Hogwarts Mystery preceded a different mobile game still based in the Harry Potter world. Niantic developed Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for Android and iOS in 2019. Subsequently, the game functioned similarly to Niantic’s smash augmented reality game, Pokémon GO. The game was respectable as a standalone title. However, the massive wave surrounding AR games had died down by the time it released.
The past two Harry Potter games offer the briefest glimpse of a disappointing line of tie-in games. There may have been diamonds in the rough in the early movie tie-in games but it’s been nearly years since then. Regardless, fans would still love nothing more than to explore Hogwarts in their own story. A faint glimmer of hope remains that Hogwarts Legacy will finally give this series the game it deserves. Fans have waited for almost two decades, waiting half a year doesn’t seem so bad.
We take careful uncertain steps into the threshold of Hogwarts with wands in hand and hope alive in our hearts. We do not forget the numerous disappointing games of the past. Maybe this time a game based on the fantastical world of witchcraft and wizardry will finally be what it’s meant to be.