The rumoured Harry Potter game is real and, despite controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling, set for a 2021 launch.
Reporting for Bloomberg News, Jason Schreier confirmed that the AAA wizarding game, which leaked back in 2018, is still on track to arrive late next year, despite a possible sale of WB Interactive Entertainment and backlash against Rowling’s recent transphobic comments.
Avalanche Studios’ Harry Potter Game
The game is being developed by Avalanche Software, a WB-owned studio best known for Disney Infinity 2.0 and 3.0. (Note: this is not Avalanche Studios Group, the folks behind the Just Cause series and last year’s Rage 2.) The Salt Lake City-based company has developed various licensed games over the years including Rugrats: Royal Ransom and Tak and the Power of Juju for Nickelodeon, and Cars 3: Driven to Win for Disney.
The upcoming game will be the most ambitious project from Avalanche yet. It will also mark the return of Harry Potter to consoles after the mobile excursions of recent years. The game will give players free rein to explore an open-world Hogwarts and the area surrounding the wizarding school.
Bloomberg News reported that several members of the team at Avalanche were “uncomfortable” with Rowling’s comments, but stressed that the Harry Potter creator has “very little direct involvement” with the game.
For context, Rowling faced instant and sharp backlash on Twitter earlier this month. On June 6, the author quote-tweeted an article from devex.com. She took issue with the article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate.”
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?,” the author wrote.
This tweet, and Rowling’s subsequent double-downs, were the most explicit expression yet of views she has been increasingly open with in recent years. Last December, the author faced backlash when she tweeted support for vocal TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) Maya Forstater. Prior to that, some fans had suspected that the author held transphobic views on the basis of the tweets that Rowling liked and accounts she followed.
Bloomberg reported that the game is set to be revealed later this summer. The reveal will take place after WB unveils their upcoming Batman game at the digital DC FanDome event.