Harry Potter and the people who just won't let it go: When will they ever stop milking the cash cow
Too much of a good thing is clearly overrated is something that the creators of the iconic wizarding world need to accept
'Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery' mobile game just dropped this week in Australia and New Zealand, a few days before its worldwide release on April 25.
Jam City, an LA-based mobile game development company behind the workings of this one have kept the game very similar to the books.
The game is split into different chapters based on the course of the storyline and lets the gamer re-live, for the umpteenth time, the magical world of Hogwarts.
The game, available on iOS and Android platforms, is published by Portkey Games, a label of Warner Bros. The company, established in 2017 is solely meant to publish games related to JK Rowling's Wizarding World from Warner Bros.
They say anything worth doing, is worth overdoing and that moderation isn't the key to fulfillment - in this case, we'd say, spare us that kind of fulfillment.
But this isn't the first HP game, neither is this the first time that they have refused to let go. It's been 21 years since the first 'Harry Potter' book came out in 1997, but it appears as though Warner Bros and author JK Rowling just cannot let the series be, even though the rest of the world can see that it is about time.
It's not that the game is bad - it's just the whole idea of being a part of that magical world has been done to death. There are theme parks dedicated to the franchise, merchandise that has reached the lengths of lingerie as well as 'Harry Potter' theme makeup.
If that wasn't enough, there are also Starbucks cups that come with the theme for $10 on Etsy, headbands, earrings, candles, and figurines among other things. It would be an understatement to say that Rowling wrote a good book - it was an amazing piece of fiction that defined a generation, and teaches us all the value of friendship, loyalty, and bravery. But it may not be long before that sentiment turns around - they really need to stop milking the 'Harry Potter' cow.
How can it ever be enough, you must think, if you're a fan. It can be - especially if you start seeing that there really isn't an ounce of the magic in the things that followed the original series, after the last book released in 2007 and the film, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' released in 2011.
It all started with the release of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' in 2016. The plot strays from the world of Hogwarts and tries to tell the story of the legendary trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermoine as adults, which to be honest, was something that the fans had only imagined till then. But the problem was with the way it was written.
Harry Potter as a character, had been created as a brave young man, who went on to save the entire wizarding world and not once was he ever portrayed as someone who was doubtful of himself- yes, there were moments in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' where he needed to be told that he isn't alone, and also times in every book when he missed his parents terribly, but the entire plot was based on his fate to be the one.
In 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', the two-part script, he is heard saying to his second son, Albus, "The thing that scares me the most is being a dad to you. Because I am operating without wires. Most people have a dad to base themselves on and either try to be or try not to be. I’ve got nothing, or very little."
Well, that doesn't sound like Rowling's iconic book to me. Not to mention the two-part script booklet got awful reviews because of how badly written it was and how it portrayed Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley, the two brightest witches of our times as two confused and sidekick material wives, who are confused with their lives. It was as though the controversy of black Hermione was just a cover. But did Rowling and the gang learn their lesson? No.
Before that, Rowling released a set of three books called the 'Hogwarts Classic' box set that had three books that were mentioned in the original plotline - 'Quidditch Through the Ages', 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' and 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'. All the three, if not based on the concept of "relive Harry Potter and Hogwarts" would have been absolute flops.
Then Rowling went on to pen 'History of Magic in North America', a series she wrote on Pottermore, which is the official website for anything HP on the digital space. Similar to the three book set, this one has not an ounce of the fun. The franchise had also been renamed to "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" by Warner Bros, thus giving them the so-called poetic license to do whatever they wanted in the name of Harry Potter.
It is worth mentioning how Rowling since the original 7 part series ended has been consistently posting blasts of information on Twitter. The beauty of the story was that it let our imaginations run wild. It was like her handle could be renamed spoiler alert - everytime things seemed quiet, she would stir up a fact, for example when she revealed that Dumbledore was gay.
Yet when it came down to portraying his sexuality in the new 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' she did not show any protest when the producers and directors decided to not show him in such light. It is quite unsettling how she cannot let go of the glory, the feeling of importance that her works had once created. If she really wanted everyone to know what happened after the trio saved the world, she should have perhaps written a real book saying what happened, all by herself - not a pathetic excuse like 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'.
The films have made a sum of approximately $6.5 billion worldwide with the films. The money the book has made has surpassed that amount with $7.7 billion. In total, the brand is worth a cool $25 billion. Warner Bros has been making the most of the nostalgia trip that we as a generation feel toward it, but now that too is fading away
When the sequels were done and dusted, then came the prequels. The 'Fantastic Beasts' series was thrust upon our heads in 2016, with Eddie Redmayne playing Newt Scamander, a magizoologist. The film was extremely entertaining and had that tinge of magic in it, but where would it stand if it hadn't been under the 'Harry Potter' umbrella? Certainly not where it is. The second part of the series, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them: Crimes of Grindelwald' is set to hit theatres on November 16 this year. The first film made a total of $814 million worldwide and Warner Bros spent $150 million just on marketing additionally, apart from the film budget of $180 million.
Then there are the awful fan factions that never stop coming. The one that really caught the world's attention was a prequel to the 'Harry Potter' experience, the story of how Voldemort came to be. Taking a leaf out of the Warner Bros marketing pages, Gianmaria Pezzato and Stefano Prestia, two fans from Italy, decided to make 'Voldemort: Origins of the Heir', as an unofficial prequel to the HP series. The trailer was uploaded in 2017 and once it gained popularity, they decided to make a full-fledged movie.
When the film was released in January earlier this year, it gained about 13 million views on YouTube. But, Warner Bros, ironically, couldn't let go of the family-friendly cow - the duo had to go through litigation with Warner Bros, which ended their crowdfunding due to copyright violations. They had to agree that they wouldn't make any money off it but for two nobodies from Italy, the fame was good enough, we suppose.