This’ll Sell Well: Lego Harry Potter

By Alec Meer on June 1st, 2009 at 3:31 pm.

About as obvious a next move as they come for Traveller’s Tales – they’re all chummied up with Warners in the wake of Lego Batman, which surely paved the way for what’s the holy money-grail of Lego licenses: that bally boy wizard. The game’ll cover the lad’s first four years at Hogwarts, and will make EA, who publish the movie-related HP games, very cross indeed. Video and details follow.

The details released so far hint at a more open experience than the straight-line stomp of former Lego games – I’d guess at Hogwarts being a large hub area full of optional activities such as that broomstick sport thing, with storyline missions branching off it. First footage below, which suggests a slightly less lavish look than Lego Batman. At a guess, I’d say that’s because this’ll be targeting low-end PCs and the Wii first and foremost, given Potter’s appeal to rugrats/family types/people who apparently can’t afford proper books. Cynically, I also suspect this won’t be the game to push the Lego X formula on – it’s too much of a guaranteed money-hat to take risks. Could well be wrong, obv.

Hopefully we will see more in the way of progression from the also-announced Lego Indiana Jones 2, which will include level-editing tools as well as content from a fourth Indiana Jones movie that was apparently release recently. Funny, I don’t remember that one. And no-one can convince me otherwise. Character- and world-creation seem bang-on perfect for the Lego games series, so quietly looking forward to this one even if Lego Indy 1 was a bit on the workmanlike side.

Here’s that Potter trailer:

Thanks, VG247.

Oh, and some largely useless corporate spiel:

London – Embargoed until 1400 GMT, June 1, 2009 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games are teaming up with the LEGO Group, to merge two of the world’s most popular brands with the creation of LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4. Based on the first four Harry Potter books and movies that tell the story of Harry’s first four years at Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 offers an engaging mix of magical gameplay and light-hearted humour. LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is being developed by TT Games and will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and is scheduled for release in 2010. LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will give gamers the chance to experience the magic and adventure of Harry Potter in a new and uniquely LEGO way. Playing as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley™ and Hermione Granger™, as well as other favourite characters, gamers will have the opportunity to attend lessons, cast spells, mix potions, fly on broomsticks and complete tasks to earn house points. Throughout the game, players will also have the freedom to explore iconic settings from the wizarding world including Hogwarts castle, Diagon Alley™, the Forbidden Forest and the village of Hogsmeade™!

“With LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 we are creating an open, wide-ranging experience within Hogwarts that is full of fun and LEGO magic,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “Harry Potter is one of the most beloved and well-respected characters, and we look forward to bringing gamers a new way of interacting in the universe with the LEGO games’ great humour and exploration.” “Harry Potter is one of the world’s most popular and inspirational heroes, and LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will appeal to a generation of gamers who grew up immersed in the Harry Potter books and films, and also loved playing with LEGO toys,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The game is geared for players to experience a good mix of puzzle solving gameplay with exploration and battle in some of the most beloved Harry Potter environments, plus a few other surprises.”

“We’re excited to announce this gaming experience based on the amazing Harry Potter universe,” said Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, Vice President, New Business Development, the LEGO Group. “LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is built around the same values of family-friendly creative game play that are present in other LEGO videogames, while delivering new elements of exploration and depth that we believe will engage children in imaginative play both virtually and physically.”

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34 Comments »

  1. Alex Hopkinson says:

    So… is that a smiling Lego baby Hitler?

  2. bansama says:

    Looks like something my daughters will enjoy.

  3. Larington says:

    “This’ll sell well”

    Indeeeeed. And yes, that baby Harry Potter looks more like a Baby Hitler, such is the way my brain works (And no doubt others brains).

  4. CakeAddict says:

    Why does the baby have glasses? xD

  5. Bhazor says:

    But baby Hitler dolls are so cute. Just look how much this girl enjoys hers.

    http://pictureisunrelated.com/2009/05/20/theres-something-very-wrong-in-this-house/

  6. James T says:

    Haha, Baby-Harry has got Daniel Radcliffe’s one facial expression! (well, he’s got that smile — see his Wikipedia page — but no-one wants to see that. Certainly not on a baby, in any case.)

  7. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Alex Hopkinson: I don’t know, to my mind the glasses and bushy eyebrows give him more of a Lego baby Hirohito look.

  8. Persus-9 says:

    Why is that smiling Lego baby Hitler wearing glasses? That can’t be good for his eyes. Is this something weird from Harry Potter cannon that he always wore glasses even as a baby or what? Are they some kind of magical talisman to protect him from Voldemort or something? If not then that’s just weird.

    Anyway, yeah this will sell like hotcakes however it turns out. Sounds like it could be quite fun and I think having it a bit open worldy with a hogwarts hub will probably work really well. Probably going to be really nice for the Harry Potter fans but I’ll be giving it a miss because I just find pretty much everything to do with Harry Potter very irritating by association with J. K. Rowling and her really rather rubbish books.

    Also regarding “Potter’s appeal to… people who apparently can’t afford proper books.” I just have to say: oh snap!

  9. Vandelay says:

    This one does seem to be a slight shift in the usual Lego games. Batman, Indy and Star Wars all have fairly broad appeal, being more catered to families rather than kids. Although I think the Harry Potter films are mostly quite good (never read any of the books), I can’t really imagine this drawing an older audience at all, where as the others have all had that nostalgia appeal and I could imagine many parents buying it for their kids only to end up playing them just as much. With Harry Potter I can’t see this being the case.

    Of course, I don’t doubt that it will sell.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Not as big, so they didn’t do it first.

    Since we’ll be seeing increasingly niche lego x games i call for lego watchmen. It would be so easy to make, even black freighter mini games at the right times in the plot.

  11. Bobsy says:

    Alec: professional curiosity: is that the format that WB Games send all their press releases in? Or has it lost formatting along the cut-paste road? Because as someone who writes the dang-diddly things for a living, that’s a godawful ugly and unreadable block of squiggle.

  12. Theoban says:

    You know you’ve made it when they make a Lego version of it.

    Next up: Lego: Gone with the Wind and Lego: The Godfather Trilogy

  13. Dolphan says:

    Vandelay – you’re kidding, right? You’re talking about a series published with special ‘serious covers’ so adults don’t get embarrassed about reading them. I’ve heard people in their 40s excitedly discussing what’s happened in a just-released book or debating the merits of the film adaptations.

  14. jon_hill987 says:

    @Dolphan: Yes, but they are just strange. If adults want to read a book by a British author with Wizards and Witches in then they should read the Discworld novels.

  15. Vandelay says:

    Dolphan – You are right, there are many adults who read the books and there are “adult” covers (which I never really got, because the standard ones don’t seem that kiddie, and it is still a Harry Potter book.) I just don’t imagine there being much crossover between the type of person who would read Harry Potter and those that would buy/play a computer game. Really, what I’m saying is that Batman, Indy and Star Wars have more older geeks into them, whereas I would imagine many geeks scoffing at Harry Potter.

    Edit: see above. (only kidding Jon_hill987)

  16. Colthor says:

    Dunno, I’ve read (and enjoyed) all the HP books (and all the Discworld novels), and yet I’ve bought/played more computer games than I could hope to remember over the last twenty-odd years.

  17. John says:

    Curious: How well did the Harry Potter games based on the movies sell? My guess is way too well.

  18. Nallen says:

    “given Potter’s appeal to rugrats/family types/people who apparently can’t afford proper books

    Fuck yeah, the only thing I hate more than adults claiming the films are good (protip: They’re for kids) is adults claiming the books are good (protip: They’re for kids.)

  19. James T says:

    Why is that smiling Lego baby Hitler wearing glasses? That can’t be good for his eyes.

    There are glasses given to infants to strengthen their eyes, when necessary.

    Whether this ever gets checked while children are still small enough to be swaddled up like Moses, I shan’t venture to guess.

  20. Nick says:

    Books “for kids” *can* be good. These are fairly shoddily written and thematically cliched bits of crap though. Harry said.

    There was no fourth Indy film.

  21. Trespasser says:

    What would you call a proper book? :D

    I will give this a try. Heck, I played all other Lego games till now.

  22. Vandelay says:

    Nallen: “Fuck yeah, the only thing I hate more than adults claiming the films are good (protip: They’re for kids.)

    Yeah, because that immediately means it can’t be good. They are well made and perfectly enjoyable.

    But what do I know, I thought Indy 4 was enjoyable (not as good as Raiders and Crusade, but probably as good as Doom.)

  23. James T says:

    Temple was the best one.

  24. Dracko says:

    jon_hill987, you misspelled LeGuin’s Earthsea.

    Oh, hold on, she’s American.

    I guess British teen fantasy novels have mostly been utter tripe, then.

    They should all be reading Gormenghast, Moorcock, Wolfe and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell instead anyway.

  25. SuperNashwan says:

    Just because it’s “for kids” doesn’t mean it isn’t good, or enjoyable, for anyone else. If you’re going to disparage Harry Potter books, do it because they are in fact pretty rubbish for the most part.

  26. Dr. Nerfball says:

    Hoooo boy. Does anyone else think this’ll be like the previous movie tie in games? Bland and completely forgettable, except the burning shame that you even bothered to borrow it from a friend. That will stay with you forever.

    And the only way I will ever buy this game is if there’s an option to curb-stomp the little lego bastards face into an explosion of blood and red bricks. Thank god for co-op!

  27. Serondal says:

    Previous LEGO movie tie in games have been good because they don’t take themselves serious, based on lego baby hitler I’d say this game isn’t going to take itself to seriously either.

    As far as the books go I’m not sure how you can say they’re rubbish unless you read them all through and through in which case that seems awful strange you’d read the entire book series if it were rubish :P I’d read the entire thing and I can say they aren’t for “little kids” as the series goes on the story gets a lot darker and would quiet honestly probably frighten young children. As far as lego games being for kids I have to agree and disagree. There is something in there for children but also something for adults. I watched a 10 year old girl playing lego indiana jones for 30 minutes the other day while I was waiting for my wife to finish doing something and I saw her fall into the same F@#$@# pit over and over again and I just wanted to grab the controller from her and show her how to properly platform ;)

  28. clovus says:

    I’d guess at Hogwarts being a large hub area full of optional activities such as that broomstick sport thing

    Oh, come on, you know that it is called Quidditch. I bet you filled your pillow with tears when you read that Dumbledore died. I dare you to post a picture of your room just to prove there isn’t a huge poster of Hermione on the ceiling…

  29. Toby says:

    “Years 1-4″ haha, I thought they’d have changed that.

    Still… hooray that its been annouced! :)

  30. El Stevo says:

    That trailer made me want to re-read the books.

  31. Man From the Web says:

    “Why is that smiling Lego baby Hitler wearing glasses? That can’t be good for his eyes.”

    It’s actually baby Himmler.

  32. Dan says:

    Persus-9: Harry Potter cannon? I might read them now! That sounds ace.

    Dracko: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was awesome. I’d play the game of that.

  33. Ian says:

    This makes sense and will sell like cakes. Maybe even HOT cakes.

  34. Saul says:

    What’s the bet that all the people claiming the Harry Potter books are rubbish haven’t actually read them? They’re one of the great works of popular literature of the modern age, certainly higher grade than Indy. Which isn’t to say that all the tie-ins haven’t been poorly made trash, which this is also likely to be. I’ve found all these Lego games very dull.