JK Rowling's Harry Potter universe is full of wonder and magic, but some newly-revealed information about the rights to the Harry Potter games demonstrates there's no magic as merciless as capitalism. Apparently, Nintendo made a grab for the rights to produce Harry Potter games exclusively for its platforms at the tail-end of the '90s, but the deal didn't go through.
The Did You Know Gaming? YouTube channel posted a video detailing Nintendo's failed pitch to JK Rowling earlier this week. The video's author, video game archiver Liam Robertson, talked to former Nintendo of America employees who describe the struggle of coming up with pitches for N64 Harry Potter games in a very short time.
Though Nintendo sought out exclusive game rights just before the Harry Potter hype train reached full speed out of Platform 9 3/4, JK Rowling reportedly wasn't interested in making a deal. Warner Bros eventually received the rights to make the movie, after which EA earned the rights to the games. Interestingly, the very first Harry Potter game, 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, came to the PlayStation, the Game Boy Color, and the Game Boy Advance, but it missed the N64 entirely.
Robertson's video has some interesting concept art for Nintendo's proposed Harry Potter games, including an image of Hogwarts perched high atop a mountain. Unfortunately, further examples of the games' concepts are sparse. Game preservation isn't great here in 2018, but it was miserable in 1998.
As for Harry Potter's status in games, he's still the Boy Who Lived...on mobile. Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery is wretched, but Niantic has the Pokemon Go-inspired Harry Potter: Wizards Unite simmering in their cauldron. There's hope for Harry yet.