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:
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.”