Today marked the launch of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and like many other longtime fans of the series I eagerly downloaded the game and dove straight in. It was fun at first, and I am excited to play more, but I quickly ran out of the energy needed to progress further in the story. While I was waiting for my meter to refill, it occurred to me: Why don’t we have more Harry Potter video games?
Niantic is launching its own mobile game Wizard’s Unite soon, and Hogwarts Mystery is out now, but why don’t we have any truly immersive games set in the wizarding world?
There were accompanying games for each film as well, but I’m not talking about games that just regurgitate the books and movies. Fans deserve a Harry Potter video game that isn’t limited by pre-existing storylines or plots. Hogwarts Mystery took a step in the right direction by setting the game in a pre-Harry-Potter-at-Hogwarts timeline, but mobile games aren’t the best format for truly exploring worlds.
Mobile games definitely have a place in this world, and I’m happy to see titles such as Harry Potter and Pokemon being explored in them, but I think that non-mobile avenues for the next Harry Potter video game would be a great possibility to explore. I’d rather pay for a game up front and have unlimited access to its content than be limited by the business model associated with mobile games.
That’s not to say I won’t continue playing Hogwarts Mystery—I’m already hooked—but this won’t be a game I can sit down and binge for 12 hours straight like I can with Skyrim or Mass Effect.
There is so much lore associated with the wizarding world, and so many unexplored stories; this is a huge opportunity for publishers to capitalize on that by creating a more immersive Harry Potter video game. While my first thought is that such a game would flourish as a liner adventure, I can also see how highly-narrative gameplay, or even an MMORPG, would be able to bring this franchise to life like never before.
An entirely open-world concept most likely wouldn’t make sense for this type of game, as students are usually limited as to where they can travel and when, but I’m sure there are dozens of creative game developers and narrative designers that could think of ways to circumvent these challenges while designing a Harry Potter video game.
In fact, as I’m writing this, I think I’m starting to realize that what I really want is Knights of the Old Republic with Harry Potter overlayed on top. Drop me in the middle of the first wizarding war and let me explore Hogwarts, recruit allies, and eventually choose a side. Or flashforward 50 years and let me play as a new student in Hogwarts, after the aftermath of Harry Potter and his friends, as I explore the castle, come into my own powers, and navigate the life of a witch or wizard. Just give me something I can play on my PC already!
In the meantime, I’ll keep playing Hogwarts Mystery (and you can bet I’ll be playing Wizards Unite on launch day too!) but I’m still holding out for the Harry Potter video game we deserve.
What would you like to see in a Harry Potter video game? Let us know in the comments!