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Harry Potter is one of the biggest franchises in media, and so it's little surprise that those tasked with recreating a Hogwarts school experience for the new mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery had a major job ahead of them. I got the chance to speak with Matt London, writer on the new Harry Potter title who told me the biggest challenge in undertaking the game fashioning a story and characters that felt like they belonged in the world of Harry Potter. According to London...
I think the biggest challenge in writing this game is meeting my own standards. I know I speak for the whole writing team when I say that we're really devoted fans of the series, we've loved it for a really long time and as fans, we knew just how important it was to get every aspect of this story right. Not only do we have to capture the voices of characters that have already been depicted so expertly, but we have new characters too that need to feel like they belong in the Wizarding World.
At this point, nearly every piece of Harry Potter lore has only been written by J.K. Rowling. After writing all the books which the movies were based on she has now turned her talents to writing the screenplays for the current Fantastic Beasts series of movies. There are fans who absolutely love Harry Potter, and for whom the new game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has been highly anticipated, as it allows players to feel like a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, for the game to be successful for those fans, it has to successfully feel like it's part of the same world as the books and movies.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Harry Potter fans feel about the new title. While the game is certainly a fairly simple mobile RPG, those simple mechanics at least have the potential to make the game accessible to a wide audience. In the same way that the Harry Potter books attracted an audience that wouldn't have necessarily called themselves fans of fantasy literature before, the game might be a gateway for Harry Potter fans that don't normally play mobile games or RPGs.
Since the game just released today I've only had the briefest opportunity to play it, but so far there is an undeniable charm to the game. The traditional free-to-play elements of mobile games are there, tasks are completed by simply tapping or swiping on the screen, and each task takes energy, which refills over time, unless, of course, you want to pay to refill it. While these traditional mobile mechanics may not impress the hardcore gamer, they do make the game accessible to anybody.
Whether or not the mystery referenced in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is one that is worthy of the boy wizard is surely a topic that will be discussed as players delve into the new title. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is now available on iOS and Android devices.