Late last night we posted about Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery soft launching on Google Play. It's made by Jam City, who are responsible for games like Cookie Jam [Free], Family Guy Freakin Mobile Game [Free] and more super popular mass market free to play mobile games. Unsurprisingly, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is also very free to play and features gameplay that seems to be in line with other free to play point and click games. If you watch the video you'll see a stamina system, multiple currencies, and everything else that I'm sure will upset people around here:

That being said, I'm about 99.9999% sure this game will be an unbelievable success. The character creation, wand selection, and day to day Hogwarts activities are all going to appeal to casual gamer Potter fans to an extent that is just going to be unbelievable to behold. I was going to suggest that if you're looking for a Harry Potter mobile game that plays a bit more like an traditional video game to check out Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7... Buuuuuut they're not on the App Store anymore, so, that's cool.

  • curtneedsaride

    You're welcome for the link. 🙂 I watched it all this morning during breakfast... And it was quite a disappointment, especially after owning and playing both LEGO games. And when they didn't work anymore after I got my new iPhone, I was already disappointed enough! There's always the old GBA4iOS and classic HP games I guess.

  • Montanx HS

    How dare they use extremely common gameplay hooks that make other companies millions of dollars a day instead of using a format that is essentially dead and leads to less than astronomical profit! I’m shocked!

  • Jay Ess

    I would have agreed with you about this game's success, before I watched this video, Eli. Now I'm super confused.

    This looks like it would make a great $14.99 Steam game.

    But it looks like a horrible F2P mobile game. Why are there Gems? What am I spending Gems on? Am I going to blow through this content in a couple of hours? Am I just grinding wand movements or something?

    Also the interactions and over all slowness look really bad. Mobile gamers want short, tight sessions. Not this.

    This looks like a monetary disaster.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Let me tell you something about Harry Potter fans before you doubt that this game will be successful:

      I live in a suburban city with a pretty decent library that's always doing different things to get kids interested in reading. Last summer, among the many different themed events they hold, they did one for Harry Potter. The slogan for our city is "The City of Lights" because we were one of the first cities with all electric street lighting. The library does a play on this, and calls their event "City of Lumos." When they do these events they take over a small single-lane street in town that's closed to cars, and set up random decorations and have a few activities that fit the theme of the book. Anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred kids come, like any library or park district activity, and that's the end of it.

      A random mommy blog wrote about the City of Lumos festival, and based on about a two sentence description put online by the library assumed it was some city-wide, multi-day Harry Potter festival where the entire city of Aurora would be be transformed into a massive Harry Potter celebration. This. Spread. Like. Wildfire. So many people were bombarding the library with interest in the event, they came up with a ticket system which they've never needed to do before. They constantly reiterated that this was a small library event when they announced there would be tickets for sale, which were $3 each or 4 for $10.

      Mommy bloggers continued to ignore everything the library was saying, as by this point it was too late. The existence of a massive city-wide Harry Potter festival had become fact, even though the smallest amount of research would reveal that wasn't true. Tickets went on sale at 8:00 AM on a Saturday a few weeks before the event, and people were driving in from multiple states away to line up overnight. They barely made it through a quarter of the line before they were sold out, as of course everyone was getting four tickets. Tickets with an original face value of anywhere between $2.50 to $3.00 were all over Craigslist for $50+, and just for the sheer sake of curiosity I emailed a few people selling them only for them to reply apologizing that so many people had already emailed and the tickets were sold.

      On the day of the festival, the entire city was ruined. People drove from the entire Midwest, just to be there, even though they didn't have a ticket. The meager alleyway that the festival was held in was surrounded by swarms of people dressed up like wizards. We couldn't even park close enough to see what was going on, I ended up going home, getting my drone, and flying over it to see the scale of the crowds. Utter madness.

      Now, knowing what people will do *entirely based on a misunderstanding* when the Harry Potter universe is involved, what reason is there to think that a legit game where you play as a Hogwarts student and go through all the things that you could if you went to school there isn't going to be an amazing success? They could have the most aggressive free to play system the world has ever seen and it won't matter. People will still pay for it. If you don't think so, remember, people were email bombing scalpers to pay 20x face value for tickets to a library event to do a Harry Potter themed pin the tail on the donkey (actually, I think it was pin the sock on Dobby) only a few months ago.

      • Jay Ess

        Oh I totally believe fans will download this game en masse. Day 1 is going to be very high.

        But what I'm asking is, will the game's D14 retention (and beyond) be good?

        In order for mobile games to make fat stacks they need a repeatable content loop. This game looks ridiculously content heavy for developers to craft to keep up with player demand.

        It doesn't seem like this game (based on this video) has a compelling loop to keep a user logging in 5 days a day for 5 minutes a day.... every day. I could be wrong tho.

      • TheVimFuego

        Funny story, thanks for sharing in detail.

  • Shining Jade

    I was interested till I saw how it played the point & click style throws me off & the freemium aspects probably WiFi locked ... loaded with inapps..yea no...

  • Morgan Leecy

    I am far more forgiving of IAP driven games these days, but watching this video killed 99% of the interest I have in it, and I am a huge HP fan. It looks cumbersome, slow, zero challenge, and no better than HP Lego which you can pick up for only a few quid these days.