Portkey Games — the new group at Warner Brothers tasked with developing a line of Harry Potter video games — have offered a few new details about their forthcoming slate.
In their website’s FAQ section, Portkey Games says straight up that their games will not be canon, and J.K. Rowling is not involved in their development.
“These experiences will not be direct adaptations of the books and films, have not been written by J.K. Rowling, and should not be considered ‘canon’,” they write on their website. “These are games that have been created for the fans, by game-makers who themselves are fans of and have been inspired by the Wizarding World.”
That said, you can still expect a very Harry Potter experience. Each game “will take place in the wizarding world and will be authentic to the Wizarding World lore. J.K. Rowling is supportive of Portkey Games and has entrusted the design and creation of the games to WB Games and the developers involved.”
Another ‘graph makes it sound like Portkey Games is open to a wide array of possibilities. “Developers can create a variety of new and unique gaming experiences that are all inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World so you may find some interesting new locations, characters, story elements, etc.”
This FAQ appears to cancel out the chance of a Fantastic Beasts video game that follows the plot in the movie. It also makes it sound like there won’t be a new game that follows Harry during his seven years at Hogwarts.
Remember: These games will still call in iconic characters we know and love. In yesterdays announcement, Pottermore said that games “could feature familiar characters ‘at different points in their lives’ from the Harry Potter stories.”
Perhaps the most noteworthy element of this FAQ is that J.K. Rowling is loosening the reigns. The major arms of the Harry Potter #franchise have had their characters, locations, and plots tightly controlled by Rowling and her team. Here, developers appear to be free to create whatever they want. (That said, we have to imagine there are some internal guidelines they need to adhere to.)
Harry Potter Wizards Unite will arrive on mobile in 2018.