Hogwarts Legacy, the RPG set within the Potterverse, sold over 22 million copies in 2023. Speaking to Variety, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president David Haddad claimed that it was the best-selling game of the said year and that about 2 million of those sales were made during the Christmas holiday season, presumably owing to heavy discounts. Despite his statement, several developers in the industry, including Larian Studios (Baldur’s Gate 3) and Activision (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3) have yet to reveal the latest sales numbers; so, take the claims with a grain of salt.
“It brought Harry Potter to life in a new way for gamers where they could be themselves in this world, in this story,” Haddad said in the interview. “And that’s what the team at Avalanche set out to do when they were developing the game and I think that’s really why it resonated so well and remains the best-selling game of the year in the entire industry worldwide.” Going forward, WB will continue betting on well-established franchises and using its namesake to generate better sales. In fact, CEO David Zaslav touched upon this in November, with plans to heavily veer into a live service model that would transform the company’s biggest names into long-term products, dropping new content regularly and deep monetisation. This also includes free-to-play mobile games and MultiVersus, the fighting game featuring characters from WB properties, which is expected to undergo a full launch this year.
Launched in February 2023, Hogwarts Legacy got off to a great start, with players worldwide discovering secrets, while developer Avalanche enjoyed staggering sales, partly bolstered by the drama revolving around the boycott of author J.K. Rowling. Although the interest gradually decreased in the following months — the game failed to earn a single nomination at The Game Awards 2023 — WB still seems hellbent on expanding its Harry Potter portfolio with its Quidditch Champions game, which underwent a closed playtest last year. The magical sport was not included in Hogwarts Legacy, so it would be interesting to see how it plays out as a multiplayer entry. Could the company try to make it a live service affair? Only time will tell. Regardless, there are plans for more Harry Potter spin-off games.
So far, wizards around the world have brewed 819 million potions, harvested 1.3 billion magical plants, bested 4.9 billion dark wizards in combat, and rescued 593 million fantastical beasts in Hogwarts Legacy. As per Haddad, another key area of success was NetherRealm Studios’ latest fighting game Mortal Kombat 1, which he alluded to have garnered more players than any other entry in the fighter franchise in its ‘30-plus year history.’ Selling 3 million copies as of November, the fighting game featured some aggressive microtransactions — something gamers have always shown a dislike for. WB Games’ upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League also falls under the live service umbrella, causing longtime fans of developer Rocksteady to be sceptical of it.
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