If Nintendo had its way, Harry Potter might just have been added to its huge cast of iconic video game characters. According to a new report from Unseen64 — a site dedicated to uncovering cancelled, lost, and otherwise unreleased games — at one point Nintendo was itching to secure the exclusive video game rights to the Harry Potter franchise. And in 1998, just a year after the first book was released, Nintendo's American division reportedly put together a pitch in hopes of securing them.
"A week of insanely furious scribbling."
There were apparently two pitches in the works: one based on a fairly standard third-person action game, and another involving the fictional sport of quidditch. The ideas never got past the pitch phase, however. "All together it was only a week of insanely furious scribbling things to the digital artists to create animations for mock game demos," an unnamed artist who worked on the project told Unseen64. That same artist claims that there was some conflict over the art style of the game, with some members of the team wanting to emulate the look of the original book covers, and others striving for a manga-inspired art style more in line with Nintendo's games.
The games never moved beyond that concept phase, and ultimately Warner Bros. won out on the rights to the franchise, with Electronic Arts handling development duties on the earliest Harry Potter games. And while it wasn't made by Nintendo, a quidditch game did eventually launch in 2003. While Nintendo's vision of the Harry Potter universe never materialized, we at least have some early concept art to imagine what it might have been like — and we can now dream about how amazing a Hogwarts-themed Super Smash Bros. level could've been.