Nintendo Had Wanted to Make the Harry Potter Games

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Support VenusBlood Hollow’s Kickstarter!

Look for us on OpenCritic!

Share this page

Great Physical Editions at Physicality Games!

Check out our friends across the pond at

We are proudly a Play-Asia Partner


Ads support the website by covering server and domain costs. We're just a group of gamers here, like you, doing what we love to do: playing video games and bringing y'all niche goodness. So, if you like what we do and want to help us out, make an exception by turning off AdBlock for our website. In return, we promise to keep intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, off oprainfall. Thanks, everyone!


Harry Potter - The Hogwartz Express

The Hogwartz Express

File this A new Unseen64 report has revealed that Nintendo was one of the companies that vied for the rights to make the Harry Potter games back in the late 90s. They were up against Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros. Of course, Warner Bros. won that fight in the end.

In 1998, Nintendo of America’s NST studio was given just one week to develop a pitch. The team drew up plans to create a game version of each Harry Potter book as they were released. They were planned for the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and the GameCube (which was still in development at the time). According to an employee who worked at the NST studio at the time, “All together it was only a week of insanely furious scribbling things to the digital artists to create animations for mock game demos”. While Nintendo’s pitch for the rights to make the Harry Potter video games was taking place, the studio’s first three projects (Ridge Racer 64, Bionic Commando and Crystalis) were all put on hold.

Harry Potter - Nintendo's Vision of Hogwartz

Nintendo’s Vision of Hogwartz

Development of Nintendo’s pitch wasn’t smooth sailing though, as there were internal disagreements. The artists originally were going for a look similar to the original book’s British cover image, but Nintendo higher-ups stepped in and forced them to change it to a more manga style. “It went against all my instincts based on what I had read quotes from J.K. Rowling about keeping it strictly British,” the employee said. “I had to revamp my initial designs and go more manga/Japanese – I had a big fight about that, but my boss insisted.”

This seems like a rather strange choice considering Harry Potter is a very British story, as J.K. Rowling intended. This change may have lessened Nintendo’s chances of winning the bid, especially considering they were up against much larger offers from the other companies (so their chances weren’t the best to begin with). Of course, JK Rowling would end up selling the rights for making the Harry Potter video games to Warner Bros. (who then contracted EA to make a video game adaptation of each Harry Potter book and a Quidditch spinoff game).


About Michael Fontanini

Michael is a veteran gamer in his late 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES, SNES, and N64 among others. He loves Nintendo, but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks/bike rides, loves animals, and enjoys thunderstorms (and science in general).

Michael is also a computer programmer. This started with a toy he got as a kid called Pre-Computer 1000 that was made by V-Tech. It had a simple programming mode (a bare-bones version of BASIC) which is what started him down the road of being a programmer! Michael can program in BASIC, Visual Basic, C++, C#, and is familiar with Java and Lua Script.

Putting programming and gaming together, Michael became a hobbyist game developer, which may give him some good insights on game development! Most recently, he has been playing with the Unity 3D game engine (a powerful and easy-to-use engine) and learning 3D modelling in Blender.

I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.