Update 2: Hogwarts Legacy, initially advertised as releasing in 2021 on current and last-gen consoles, has been delayed until 2022, the developer revealed in a tweet, citing the game ultimately needs more time in order to deliver a quality game. Perhaps the misfire that was the Cyberpunk 2077 launch has caused the studio to look long and hard at what’s right. The question now is will the game still be releasing on last-gen systems in 2022.
Update: The long-rumoured Wizarding World RPG from Avalanche is finally confirmed to be real at the PlayStation 5 event that happened on September 16th. Formally titled Hogwarts Legacy, the game is confirmed to take place in the 1800s and will follow your custom wizard who”who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart” as they explore the grounds of the castle and learn “what influenced their society before Tom Riddle, before Newt Scamander“. The game is confirmed to be an open-world RPG and implies that there will be a morality system, governed by how you interact with magic and others around you. Much of what we like about the franchise is here, such as Olivander, who was making wands since 382 B.C., the Forbidden Forrest, and goblins work at Gringotts. You also get the fight dragons, so that’s cool and you can fly around on a broomstick, with what is hopefully fully realized Quidditch games. There’s no official release date, we can hopefully get our hands on this in 2021 as advertised.
Experience Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. You have received a late acceptance to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and soon discover that you are no ordinary student: you possess an unusual ability to perceive and master Ancient Magic. Only you can decide if you will protect this secret for the good of all, or yield to the temptation of more sinister magic.
The original story follows after the trailer.
For the longest time, fans of Harry Potter have been clamouring for a return to Hogwarts in a video game. There used to be a time when we’d get regular video games coinciding with the release of a new film, and those games ranged from good to pretty terrible. Ultimately, those games were bound by short production times in order to launch with the release of a new movie. Since then, we’ve gotten a god awful mobile game that was plagued with microtransactions that seriously angered the fandom. Now, it seems that there may be a ray of light in the future as leaked footage of an apparent game has surfaced online.
Now, this footage is by no means official, so take all of this with a grain of salt, but it should be worth mentioning that Warner Bros. have since had the clips removed from YouTube for copyright reasons, which has only increased speculation that the game is real as WB owns the property rights for the Potterverse outside of the books. That includes the films, the Fantastic Beasts spinoffs, video games and theme parks. They could also be protecting their intellectual property, and all this is a fake, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Another interesting point is that Avalanche Software was hiring for a job that fits this bill some time ago and that WB also owns that studio, so the pieces are starting to fit.
The footage was uploaded to Reddit on Monday night by a user named “VapeThisBro” (sigh), who was part of a survey in regards to the game. But he snuck his camera in and was able to film the footage and left before he had to sign an NDA, so he states. BBC journalist Lizo Mzimba stated that the footage is real according to his sources as he knows of an unannounced Harry Potter RPG in the works.
There’s also a synopsis for the game, which was filled with typos so I’ll just paraphrase for your benefit. The game takes place in the 19th century and sees you playing as your own unique character that you get to create. You’re a new student to Hogwarts, who only got accepted in the fifth year. This is due to you being a particularly rare type of witch or wizard, one who can “track and identify remnants of ancient magic”. But starting your wizarding education in your fifth year is something completely unknown to us Potter fans, so why this is happening is very much a mystery and one I really want to know the answer to. I’ve embedded the footage below as a gif so you may have to restart the clip to see it from the beginning.
The game will also be an open-world RPG, and thus you’ll be able to explore the castle, the grounds and Hogsmeade village at your leisure, along with any secret areas unknown to fans of the books and movies. It looks like there is quite a bit of destruction within the environments and you can use magic to repair certain sections in order to progress through the world. You team up with Professor Fig (Charms professor maybe?) as you learn potions and spells, meets creatures, fight dark wizards, goblins and monsters for the “Fate of the wizarding world.” It also sounds like there will be eight different gaming classes, so it seems like there will be some flexibility with how you play the game. You also get to chose your house and chose whether to play as a good or evil student, which also sounds very interesting. I like that this isn’t a traditional linear Harry Potter game, as the video game adaptations, but one that seems to be filled with choice and consequence as you mold your own character.
All of this sounds extremely promising to be honest. Back when I was a writer for Moviepilot, I wrote a piece detailing how cool it would be to have an open-world RPG set within the Potter universe. My initial pitch was that the game could perhaps take place between the 40s and 50s, away from the events of either film series. Having the action take place in the 1800s is, in my opinion, an even better idea as it further detaches itself from the established stories and gives us a whole new period in history to explore the wizarding world. Which admittedly, will look pretty similar to its big-screen counterparts as there are no modern devices in the wizarding world.
I hope the game will take some gameplay cues from the Bully game from Rockstar, as I also stated in my previous writings. I found that Bully captured perfectly what it’s like to go to school while simultaneously embarking on your own quest. Even more, fun though was playing hooky and not going to classes and simply wandering the school grounds and the neighbouring town across the bridge. The seasons shifted as the game went on and thus, you really felt like you were living in a tangible place. That’s what I’d want it to feel like going to Hogwarts. I don’t want it to feel like a Wizarding World museum, with all the sights and sounds, but a real place that I can live in and interact with.
Personally, I’m really excited about this and hope WB put out an official statement and footage soon to confirm that this is all happening or not. Until that happens, why not check out our latest on the Alien franchise and what you should be watching in anticipation for Red Dead Redemption II.