According to a new interview, Electronic Arts was working on a Harry Potter-themed MMO which it canceled before it got off the ground. This information comes from former director of marketing Kimberly Salzer, who stated in an interview with Original Gamer Life that the MMO was 'killed' by the company due to concerns the IP wouldn't last long.
The YouTube interview with Salzer and OGL's CEO Brandon Sivret, which is about 45 minutes long, touches on Salzer's time at the company. Salzer worked at EA from 2000 through 2003, and has also been an VP of Brand Management at Activision during the 2000s, according to her LinkedIn. According to the YouTube description, Salzer is now the CMO of Original Gamer Life.
When asked if there was ever an exciting project that they were excited about, something that they "knew was going to be really cool but for some reason it just never got made or it got shelved."
Surprisingly, Salzer mentions a Harry Potter MMO that was in the works that never quite got their broomsticks off the ground.
"A big one for me because I was so personally involved in it and it's such a huge IP that has lived on is [an] online massively multiplayer game for Harry Potter," Salzer responded. "We did all the research, we had the beta built out."
However, Kim states that despite the team's confidence in the potential of the MMO, it was "killed" because EA's higher ups just didn't think the IP would have a longer "shelf life" than "a year or two."
"[I]t was killed, for lack of a better term, because EA was going through some changes at that time and they just didn't konw or believe enough that the IP would have a shelf life longer than a year or two."
Despite those concerns from EA's executives at the time, the IP does live on in gaming today, with a new Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy being developed by Avalanche Games (and published not by EA, but by Warner Bros.).
According to Salzer, the Harry Potter MMO was slated to be a combination of offline and online experiences where players were mailed "prizes and ribbons" and such.
You can check out the full interview in the embed below.