If leaked footage is real, Warner Bros.’ Avalanche Software — the Utah-based studio behind licensed games such as Toy Story and the Disney Infinity series — is hard at work on an “open-world action RPG” set in the world of Harry Potter. The footage features the usual assortments of wizards and wands, trolls and goblins as well as peeks at familiar locations like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.
Though the last Harry Potter movie was released over seven years ago, J.K. Rowling, the series’ author, has been busy steadily expanding the universe with spinoff films (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and stage productions (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). This latest game, rumored to be in development for some time, would be the first AAA video game set in the Harry Potter universe since 2011, the same year the final film was released.
The footage was leaked by Reddit user u/VapeThisBro, who writes that it was “leaked as in I went into a room for a focus group, took a sneak video, and uploaded it. This isn’t some marketing ploy. If you notice the bottom right corner of the video, its censored because it has a serial number identifying me so WB can sue the ever living shit out of me.”
He added, “It was one of those mall survey groups. I wasn’t allowed to have the camera. The signs in the lobby say no phones but no one checked me. The guys who did all the paperwork looked like they gave zero fucks about their jobs and were getting anyone and everyone who would do the viewing to do it. I got paid to watch it.”
In addition to the hastily acquired phone cam footage, VapeThisBro shared this (poorly transcribed) marketing collateral:
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 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 ancient power.
Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize In the Forbidden Forrest and trouble begins o 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 all new story separate from the books or films
This isn’t the only Harry Potter video game in the works right now, either. While the mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery was poorly received earlier this year, Niantic is working on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a location-based augmented reality game, not unlike its other hit, Pokemon Go.
Though this footage certainly appears authentic — as opposed to an outrageously ambitious hoax perpetrated by someone with a promising future in video game development — we’ve reached out to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for comment on its veracity.