Many fans are looking forward to Hogwarts Legacy, but they could have had a much different kind of Harry Potter experience if only the developers had believed in its potential. We almost had a Harry Potter MMO, but EA decided it was doomed to failure and cancelled it, despite extensive research and development already carried out on the project.
In an interview with former EA Director of Product Marketing Kim Salzer, Salzer mentioned the development for this game was already in the prototype stage. "We did all the research. We had the beta built out. It was a combination offline/online experience where we would actually mail stuff to the kids like prizes and ribbons and stuff like that. Thoroughly researched, very confident in the success of this," said Salzer
Harry Potter MMO Cancelled Because EA Didn't Believe
However, Salzer mentions that EA heads at the time didn't believe in the Harry Potter IP. "It was killed, for lack of a better term, because EA was going through some changes at that time and they just didn’t know or believe enough that that IP would have a shelf life longer than a year or two." she said. It's worth noting the decision was made prior to the success of the Harry Potter books and cinematic series in the mid 2000s.
As of now, the Harry Potter series has a successful cinematic universe spawning another generation through the Fantastic Beasts series. Meanwhile, Warner Bros Games is currently working on making Hogwarts Legacy for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and the PC.