Nintendo pitched for exclusive Harry Potter video game rights

In 1998 work on three titles was suddenly halted as Nintendo entered a furious race to secure the exclusive game rights to Harry Potter.

That’s according to Unseen64 which says that workers at Nintendo of America’s internal team Nintendo Software Technology were in 1998 suddenly told to down tools on Ridge Racer 64, Bionic Commando and Crystalis and switch their attention to a pair of potential Harry Potter games.

The first was a third person adventure title and the second a quidditch game. Had the pitch have been successful games would have gone into development for Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance, with further iterations planned on the GameCube as and when new books in the series were released.

There were internal disagreements surrounding the art style, however. At the beginning it was thought that a style mirroring Thomas Taylor’s book cover art for The Philosopher’s Stone, but more senior execs at the studio preferred a more manga-orientated look.

JK Rowling herself agreed to a meeting about the deal, but ultimately declined the bid in favour of several other proposals by media giants with greater resources, such as Disney and Universal” which of course included scope to branch out into other media – most notably film. Warner eventually grabbed the game rights and partnered with EA to make the games.

All together it was only a week of insanely furious scribbling things to the digital artists to create animations for mock game demos,” a source said.

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