- Aug 25, 2020
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's rumored Harry Potter RPG is reportedly set to be released in late 2021 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, according to a report by Bloomberg. Although, the developers are said to be "rattled" by such issues as the COVID-19 pandemic, J.K. Rowling's recent controversial comments, and the possible sale of the Warner Bros. video game publishing business. This Harry Potter RPG has been long-rumored but never officially announced. While there was a supposed gameplay leak in 2018, Warner Bros. has yet to confirm this much-anticipated title to the world at large. The project is said to let players become wizards in an open world that takes place at Hogwarts and its nearby locations. Two anonymous sources close to the project have revealed to Bloomberg that the project is "very real" and that it is in development by Disney Infinity studio Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City, Utah. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/10/05/our-leaked-harry-potter-rpg-theories-beyond-highlight"] The sources have confirmed the leak from 2018 was authentic, but many of the rumors that have come after are false. It was also said that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the possible sale of the Warner Bros. video game publishing business, and "fierce backlash against the franchise's creator," the game still remains on track for its release next year. There is anxiety at the studio, however, especially due to the aforementioned comments by J.K. Rowling that are widely viewed as transphobic. According to one person, the studio's management has still not addressed the controversial words by Rowling. Many spoke out against Rowling's comments, including those who have worked close with her and starred in Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts franchises – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Eddie Redmayne. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/11/24/best-25-harry-potter-characters"] Rowling is still very involved in most things Harry Potter, although one of the sources said that she has, "very little direct involvement" in this project. Felicia Grady, the managing editor of the popular Harry Potter fan site MuggleNet wrote an e-mail to Bloomberg stating that this controversy is, "likely to diminish some of the anticipation of the game." "Based on what I’ve seen from fans, I do believe that Rowling’s comments have had some effect on the level of excitement they have for the Harry Potter RPG or other upcoming content,” Grady wrote. “We’ve seen comments from fans who no longer wish to support Rowling or the brand financially." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-harry-potter-universes-most-fantastic-beasts&captions=true"] The possible sale of the Warner Bros. video game publishing business is also of big concern because, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman, expensive projects can be the, "most at risk of cancellation in the event of a sale," especially one that has been in development for so long. These issues have caused WB to shift its plans regarding the reveal of the project, which was originally going to appear during E3 2020. The new plan, according to those familiar with such things, is to unveil the new Batman game in August at the DC FanDome and then focus on the Harry Potter RPG at a later date. These plans, however, were made prior to Rowling's comments. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected]. Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.