Footage surfaced late Monday night of what appears to be a Harry Potter game in development.
The footage, which you can watch here, was initially shared on Reddit by user VapeThisBro, who claims they were shown the video for market research at a mall. Phones and cameras were reportedly not allowed into the room, but the company neglected to check them. Reddit users initially express disbelief, asking about an NDA and the overall legitimacy of the video, but VapeThisBro explained the company in charge forgot to have them sign their NDA.
While this may seem too good to be true, multiple signs point to it being real. The footage was initially uploaded to YouTube, but once it started to get spread around, it was taken down via a copyright strike from Warner Bros. Entertainment Interactive.
The video shows character customization, familiar Harry Potter locations, and gameplay involving spells like Stupefy, Expelliarmus, and Levioso. VapeThisBro uploaded an alleged description of the game to Reddit and later to YouTube.
“Set in the 19th Century (1800’s) Wizarding World, this 3rd person open-world action RPG game centers around your character with unique abilities who has eared (sic) a late acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You are a newly arrived 5th year student to Hogwarts that demonstrates a latent gift for magic with a unique ability to track and identify remnants of a pottant (sic) ancient power.
Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize In the Forbidden Forrest and trouble begins o (sic) brew within the castle walls. Together with Professor Elezar Fig, you embark on a journey through both familiar and never before seen locations to bring to light the truth behind these mysterious occurrences.
On your quest you will craft potions, master new spells, and discover fantastical beasts. You will battle Dark Wizards, Goblins, and other supernatural enemies and uncover the truth about your destiny – the Fate of the Wizarding World lies in your hands.
-Journey to Hogwarts to become one of 8 different Wizard types
-Experience Hogwarts, make new friends, uncover new secrets, and change the fate of the Wizarding world.
-Experience a new magic system that creates countless possibilities to master magic.
-Freely explore the Wizarding World for the first time, Choose your house and friends at Hogwarts, and decide to pursue a path of good or evil.
-Create your own witch or wizard, and experience a (sic) all new story separate from the books or films.
The Internet first speculated the game was Batman Arkham developer Rocksteady’s next project. Rocksteady would be a perfect fit for this game, being a British studio owned by WB Interactive. However, sources told Eurogamer that the studio’s next large game is not Harry Potter.
So if not Rocksteady, then who is developing this supposed Harry Potter game? Signs point to Utah-based Avalanche Software, the studio behind the now defunct Disney Infinity. Avalanche’s most recent game, Cars 3: Driven to Win, a tie-in based on the Cars series of movies, released in June of last year, but Avalanche has been hiring for a larger project for some time.
Job postings from early 2017 called for staff with a “deep understanding of British culture and grammatical presentation”, with good knowledge of “gaming narrative and branching storytelling, particularly in the realm of RPGs”. Other postings from around the same time described Avalanche’s next project as a “large-scale console game project” and a “AAA” title.
BBC News reporter Liza Mzimba tweeted at Eurogamer in response to the leaked footage, confirming the RPG is in development and the title is currently “Harry Potter Magic Awakened”, with other titles like “Magic Forever” also being considered. She also states that other Potter games are coming in the future.
Warner Bros. recently announced a slew of Harry Potter games coming under the dedicated Potter label Portkey Games. The first of which was free-to-play mobile game Hogwarts Mystery. Pokemon Go developer Niantic’s Wizards Unite is slated to arrive next, although the exact release date is still unknown.