Nintendo almost developed a 'Harry Potter' game, and we've got the pictures to prove it
Is it too late to get this going? According to some heavy duty sleuthing by video game website Unseen64, way back in the beginning of Harry Potter, the rights for the series almost went to Nintendo. That means instead of having a nice collection of Harry Potter movies alongside our Harry Potter books, we might have had a bunch of third-person video games instead.
According to what Unseen64 managed to dig up, back in 1998 author J.K. Rowling started thinking about selling off the rights for the Harry Potter characters, Nintendo dropped everything to create a pitch in hopes of wooing her. The plan was to create video game content for Nintendo 64, Gameboy and Gamecube and titles would have been released to coincide with each new published book. There was also probably going to be a Quidditch game, which would have been the best thing ever.
Rowling actually agreed to view Nintendo’s presentation, but if you know anything about Rowling and how much she loves her characters, she just won’t hand them off to anyone. Instead of keeping things with a strong British flair for their presentation, Nintendo leaned more towards Japanese art/manga for their design, and it just wasn’t what Rowling was looking for. She was also looking for a more wider base to bring her characters to life, and if the rights had gone to Nintendo, there wouldn’t have been an option for movie adaptations. Or, OK, it’s not fair to say “no movies” because Nintendo could have figured out a way to do it, but they’re not a working film studio like Warner Brothers, where the rights were finally sold. Nintendo would have been all video games, all the time.
Even though Nintendo never entered the Wizarding World, there are still some early images for concept art, now finally being released almost twenty years later.
Now, diehard HP fans know that gaming adaptations do exist, thanks to Electronic Arts game developers.
Harry Potter Wikia, where we pretty much get all our information on life, elaborates: “Beginning in 2001, EA Games began releasing adaptations of the Harry Potter films. Originally they were released for PC, GBC, GBA, PS1. Then, with the arrival of new generation consoles, XBOX, PS2, and GC versions were created for the second game. NDS and PSP versions were made for the fourth, and in the fifth game, Wii and PS3 versions were released.”
So it’s not like we’ve been deprived of the virtual Harry experience, even on Nintendo’s Wii format. But imagine a first gen Gameboy with a teeny-tiny Harry Potter acting all Super Mario-like. Crazy, right?
Images via here.