It goes without saying that when you run as watertight a marketing ship as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment does with their various licenced IPs, from Monolith’s Lord of the Rings-expanding Middle-Earth saga to Rocksteady’s beloved Batman: Arkham trilogy, teasing your next major release without giving too much away should be child’s play.
In fact, our first look at the publisher’s upcoming mobile RPG set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, stands as the epitome of this enigmatic promotional approach with its details-thin (to say the least) teaser trailer. We’re never willing to be beaten, though, so let’s see what precious secrets we can glean…
- We’re promised the opportunity to live our own “Hogwarts story” this year, which entails honing our wizarding spells and skills, attending classes with Hogwarts professors as well as choosing friends and rivals to keep close or distant en route.
- The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which we’re introduced to here, however, won’t directly align with that which we’ve seen on the page or big-screen; instead, Hogwarts Mystery takes place in a 1980s incarnation of its titular setting.
- Luckily the more things change, the more they stay the same. What scarce in-game footage we’re afforded in the one-minute sizzle reel does confirm that Professor McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid and Severus Snape were employed as staff at this dangerous magical institution long before the Boy Who Lived’s arrival.
- Better yet, before we even reach the mobile RPG’s obvious central locale, Diagon Alley looks set to ease us back into the Wizarding World, with Ollivander’s Wandmarkers presumably serving as the setting for Mystery’s spell-casting tutorial.
Such vague marketing materials as these will hardly dis-spell (see what we did there?) any skepticism among fans, many of whom doubtless wonder whether WB’s newly-formed Harry Potter gaming branch, Portkey Games, and developer Jam City simply want to – allegedly – riff on Pokémon GO’s world-trotting formula for a quick buck.
US-based Potterites will get the rare opportunity to try Jam’s first big-budget production at Universal Studios Orlando’s A Celebration of Harry Potter event on January 26th-28th, while the rest of us can pre-register here ahead of Journey’s full-scale release on mobile devices later this year.
In the meantime, watch the trailer for yourselves below and give us a shout if we’ve missed any crucial details regarding Hogwarts Mystery’s, well, mysterious plotline.