Gaming

An Open-World Harry Potter Video Game Is Reportedly ‘On Track’ For Sometime In 2021

A collection of Harry Potter-inspired video games have come out over the years, with the most recent release, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, released in 2019 for iOS and Android. One thing that has been lacking amid all of these games, whether they’ve been related to the seven books in the series or some sort of spin-off, is a monstrous, open-world game in which gamers can explore the magical world of Hogwarts.

According to a new report, that is going to change sometime in 2021. Bloomberg brought word of some sort of open-world Harry Potter release, and while details about what is going to be in the game are sparse, the report indicates that there is something in the works that will come out on next-gen consoles. As an added bonus, the report brought word of a new Batman game as well.

The long-rumored project is very real, according to two people currently working on it. The game is in development at a Warner Bros.-owned studio, Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is scheduled for release late next year for platforms including the upcoming Sony Corp. PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Corp. Xbox Series X, said the people, who requested anonymity over fears they would be fired for speaking publicly about an unannounced game.

Harry Potter is among the highest-profile projects within Warner Bros. Interactive, along with a Batman game that is in the works. Footage from a very early version of the untitled game began circulating in 2018. That video was authentic, but most of the rumors that have come out since are not, said one of the people working on it. Despite a series of challenges—a global pandemic, a fierce backlash against the franchise’s creator, a possible sale of the Warner Bros. video game publishing business—the game remains on track for next year, the person said.

According to Bloomberg, the plan was for the game, which would be set in “Hogwarts and its surrounding areas,” to be announced during E3, but that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The backlash referenced in the report stems from a few incidents in recent weeks in which the series’ author, J.K. Rowling, expressed anti-transgender views. These comments, which are hardly the first time that Rowling has made comments that target the trans community, have reportedly caused unease among members of the team creating the game but WB said Rowling has had minimal involvement with the title thus far.

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