Harry Potter is the biggest movie licence of the summer, and expectations are just as high for EA’s latest digital outing for the students of Hogwarts. With millions of fans around the world eagerly waiting for the next adventure, the game has a guaranteed audience in place as it approaches release.
While many games are rushed to meet the movie’s deadline, Half-Blood Prince has had the rare luxury of extra development time after the film was delayed.
“As the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter series, anticipation for the Half-Blood Prince is building,” says EA’s UK product manager Alice Brandvik. “The film is looking amazing and the studio has done an amazing job bringing it to life.
“The storyline is as engaging as ever with Harry travelling with Dumbledore to piece together Voldermort’s past and uncover the secrets of the Half-Blood Prince. We’re excited for the launch of the game alongside the film.”
EA has paid attention to feedback from consumers and press in developing Half-Blood Prince. As a result, elements from the previous game make a welcome return and have been updated to suit the new storyline – most notably, the ability to explore Harry Potter’s world in a free-form structure.
“As with Order Of The Phoenix, Hogwarts is fully recreated, enabling players to explore the magical grounds at their leisure and truly experience the students’ magical world. This year, potions are a key driver in the storyline: Harry finds the mysterious Half-Blood Prince’s potions book, so mixing and creating them is central to your task.”
Players will get to experience every form of magic from the books and films. As well as mixing potions, they will also learn to perform crucial spells that will be essential to both puzzle solving and combat – with the Wii and DS versions utilising their unique control schemes to make the magic even more immersive.
As they progress through the game, gamers will have to attend Harry’s lessons in order to improve their skills. These will help them in the main questline as he and Dumbledore attempt to unlock Voldermort’s darkest secrets. And when they’re not in the mood for death and danger, players can enjoy a range of extra-curricular activities.
Potter fever is set to return as the new film approaches. Awareness will already be high, but EA is determined to ensure that the game is as prominent as possible.
“As you’d expect with a Potter title, the game will have a significant marketing campaign to support the launch and the run-up to Christmas. We have a mix of cinema, TV, print and online advertising planned in, as well as significant retail marketing and PR programmes. We’re working closely with Warner Bros on their plans for the film launch to really accentuate the authenticity of the game.”