There have been a handful of movie tie-ins for the #HarryPotter franchise in the past, but they've all been average entries that have not lived up to the critical reception of J. K. Rowling's novels. Despite the film franchise's grand finale hitting theaters back in 2011, fans are still eager to indulge in the wizarding world. So, isn't it time Harry Potter got a renowned video game?
Imagine a Potter-inspired RPG, taking influence from such games as #Skyrim and #Rockstar Game's cult hit, Bully. It may be just a fantasy at this point, but there are many reasons why this is the next logical step for the franchise.
There have been a few games in the Harry Potter series over the years, including a Kinect-based entry focusing on mini games and a handful of popular Lego tie-ins. They've had varying degrees of success, and some even captured the spirit of Rowling's story, but all have one thing in common: they're tied to Harry Potter and the events seen within the movies.
In order to create a canon story set in the Harry Potter universe, an RPG could serve as a bridge between the core Harry Potter films and the on-going #FantasticBeasts movies. A story set in the 1950s would mean the events of Fantastic Beasts will have concluded, and the game wouldn't need to interact with pre-established characters.
Since the wizarding world doesn't exactly advance in terms of muggle technology, there wouldn't be a visual shift. It would, however, give more freedom when it comes to offering new characters and stories. Utilizing unused time-frames is something video game tie-ins have done successfully before, so it makes sense for the Harry Potter franchise to follow suit.
Expanding a Franchise Through Video Games:
Take the upcoming video game Middle Earth: Shadow of War and its predecessor, Shadow of Mordor, for example.
These games have abandoned the constraints of a movie franchise and have given us a new story that takes place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies. Fans of the franchise noticed this and jumped into the series, making it one of the Games of the Year, selling over three million copies.
Instead of being a quick cash-in, developer Monolith took inspiration from its contemporaries and gave fans a new, entertaining series. So, a Hogwarts-based RPG doesn't need to be tied to the movies - and can instead offer fans a new adventure that takes place within the wizarding world.
Many film-to-game adaptations end up being rushed, rarely offering a meaningful gaming experience. More often than not, the player is simply replaying certain key events from the film with additional side content to extend the game's length. This is something that has to stop, and fans have been glad to get their hands on games like the aforementioned Middle Earth series instead. Even the Riddick game Escape From Butcher Bay gave us an excellent gaming experience that served as more of a prequel to the cult film Pitch Black.
Star Wars games have also avoided this in recent years. Whether it's the story mode in Battlefront 2 or the upcoming mystery game from Uncharted's Amy Hennig, Star Wars has been paving the way for what other games can do with their respective film properties. It's time the Wizarding World did the same.
So, how would it work?
Gameplay: Items, Attributes & House Rules
Of course, the game would have some key moments that fans know and love. Creating your own character and heading out to Diagon Alley, picking a wand, an animal companion and other key items is something many fans have been wanting to do for the past twenty years.
Each item you select could have different attributes tied to them that may give you an edge in one field of magic, but set you back in another. The same would happen to you when you get sorted into your house. you'd get certain perks unique to that house, similar to when you pick a race in Skyrim.
From there, you'd go through the seven years at school, completing classes, main story quests, side quests, treasure hunts and other special missions, perhaps inspired by the mission structure found in #TheWitcher3.
A World You Know And Love: RPG Exploration
Hogwarts and it's surrounding grounds are some of the most iconic locations in film. So, why not take full advantage of that and create a 1:1 scale version of the castle, forest and other near by locations? With the technology available today, it's totally possible to do this and make it look gorgeous.
The whole point of a Potter-inspired RPG, aside from giving us more content from the Wizarding world, is to really immerse oneself into the life of a student at Hogwarts. The more I write about this, the more I want it. What are your thoughts on this possible game? Do you agree that it's the next logical step for the Harry Potter franchise?
Let me know in the comments below.