Wizard101 != Harry Potter

Whether or not we’ll ever see a Harry Potter MMO — and it’d be really dumb if nobody took advantage of this great IP — something that grates on my nerves every time I hear it is when people say “Why do we need a Harry Potter MMO?  I mean, we have Wizard101, and that’s pretty much the same thing!”

To me, that’s like saying, “Why have a Star Trek MMO when you have EVE Online?  They have pretty much the same thing — space, ships, combat, um, asteroids.”

Now, I’m not the biggest Harry Potter or Wizard101 fan, but I like and respect both franchises for what they are.  I appreciate what Wizard101 brought to the MMO scene in its accessibility, crossover appeal to kids and adults alike, and a fun blending of a card game with MMORPG trappings.  But, to me, it’s not Harry Potter, even if Ambrose is meant to be a knockoff of Dumbledore, or the fact that the first world is set in a magical school for wanna-be wizards.  Clumping both franchises together as “one and the same” does a disservice to what each of them does best.

Wizard101 may have its origins in the Harry Potter motif, but it takes a vastly different direction and becomes its own creature early on.  It’s simplistic and attractive both visually and in the game mechanics, and has no qualms playing up the cartoony angle.

If Harry Potter ever became a MMO, it certainly wouldn’t be bright primary colors and rainbows, but one that has a darker atmosphere among J.K. Rowling’s settings.  I don’t love Harry Potter for its storyline (which is pretty basic and derivative if we want to be honest with ourselves) but for the creativity and detail shown to the magical world, from candy to fireworks, plants to animals, curses to potions.

I think Harry Potter could translate very well to a MMORPG, all things considered.  Rowling certainly created enough items, creatures, locations, figures and mysteries to fit into a MMO structure, not to mention class choices (which type of magic you’d specialize in), factions (Hogwarts houses), and leveling (what year you are, plus post-graduate years).

With all due respect to Wizard101, we haven’t seen a Harry Potter MMO yet, and I don’t think anyone should be deterred from making one just because there’s another magic-themed MMO out there.

6 thoughts on “Wizard101 != Harry Potter

  1. Never mind Harry Potter, there’s only one hot wizard IP that demands an MMO: Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins. I’m pretty sure that’s what Blizzard’s Next Secret MMO is going to be based on.

  2. I just recently saw the Potter films for the first time and I’ve never read any of the books. I actually enjoyed the films, but think it would make for a pretty terrible MMO. Its the same problem for most books/movie settings: everyone wants to be the hero and that doesn’t work in an MMO.

    Harry Potter is a good setting for single player games.

  3. Im not a harry potter fan but actually think it would be pretty cool as an MMO.

    – The various house teams replacing factions.

    – Guild housing could be dorms and or that secret little room that only you guys can see (its in one of the films where they do their training).

    – Quidditch as a mini game etc

    – Competitions between the different houses

    – Training or spell mastery in the form of school classes

    Yup lots of cool opportunities to do something different so I’d be all for someone taking it on.

    If they do decide to make it then sign me up to give it a bash……….lets face it couldnt be any worse than some of the rubbish thats been released recently

  4. No classes, please.

    Harry Potter characters learned whatever they wanted to. Factions, sure; schools, sure (Durmstrang, anyone?); allegiances, definitely. But the time-worn notion of character classes is not well suited to the HP IP. It’s far more creative and freeform than that. (Which is another thing; characters created their own magic spells… we just don’t have that sort of creativity in modern MMO design.)

    Heartless, while I agree wholly that the period of time that the Harry Potter story itself fits into isn’t well suited to an MMO, the Harry Potter world itself is a nice stage to tell a variety of stories on. An MMO could work within a period of history either before or after Harry’s story.

    I love W101, and it has some of the HP trappings, but yes, they are two very different beasties in the end. (…not unlike Allods, WAR and WoW, for that matter, for all the ill-considered comparisons that we see between them…)

    I’d definitely play a HP MMO, though, if only to see what they did with it. (I’d design one, too, if I thought that there was a chance it could be made, and that the lawyer weasels wouldn’t eat me alive.)

  5. Personally, I think the world of Harry Potter could be an *awesome* MMO. Unlike what one commenter wrote above, it really isn’t about a world of “heroes.” An argument could be made that the main character in Harry Potter wasn’t Harry Potter at all, but Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry. It’s the *one* thing that linked both villain and hero together — they both admired and respected Hogwarts.

    Personally, if given to the right hands, the game could be pretty dynamic, too. There’s a ton of things in this world that could make for some fascinating ways to create characters. Not all of them would have to be combat based, either. Think of everything in it — there’s magic infused in muggle objects, there’s potions, there’s magical animals, there’s potions, many different magical schools of thoughts. There’s shopkeepers, jokesters, librarians, teachers, bankers, and who knows what else.

    I’ve always wanted to play a Harry Potter MMO. I hope they actually do this. There’s certainly a market for it — and even though it is in the fantasy genre, it’s something that could be very different in play style, thus not forced to compete directly with the WoWs of the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s