Harry Potter is a massive brand. The books have spawned movies, theme parks, and now a spinoff series of movies. The franchise is not going anywhere, but in the early 2000s, Electronic Arts thought the brand was just a fad that would never last, canceling an MMO they had in the works.
The game was in development between 2000 and 2003, just prior to the release of the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Perhaps it was all for the best. EA would probably have ruined it.
[Source: OGL: Original Gamer Life]
According to an insider report, EA has rejected a pitch from DICE for a third installment of Star Wars Battlefront due to high licensing costs.
All in all, it costs a lot of money to make Star Wars games. And if those games are crap and don’t sell like gangbusters, then you will not recover your investment.
For what it’s worth, DICE does have a least two “story-driven” single-player Star Wars titles in development with EA, one of which may be a sequel to the extremely well executed and fun Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Loot box mechanics have been under fire lately. In Europe especially, the questionable mechanic has been likened to gambling and countries like Belgium has taken a hard stand against them.
Sure, regardless of what companies call them, paying real money for a digital box that contains a totally random in-game gear of various value can be likened to gambling. However, EA’s vice president of legal and government affairs, Kerry Hopkins, had a novel counter to that notion when interviewed by UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. Apparently, EA believes that loot boxes are more akin to delicious Kinder Eggs than slot machines.
Other EA representatives present at the hearing also went on to say that loot boxes are “actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.”
As a gamer, I don’t find loot boxes fucking ethical or fun. That’s total bullshit, and the fact that EA thinks that they can get away with saying that at a hearing before UK Parliament is totally laughable given the shit they went through with Star Wars: Battlefront II.