Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced that the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix videogame is in development. The game is scheduled for a July 2007 release to coincide with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling's fifth book of the same title.
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the first in the franchise that we have developed for the next generation consoles," said Harvey Elliott, Executive Producer at EA UK. "Together with current generation versions, we are creating an immersive and, above all, faithful Harry Potter experience that will both accurately reflect the world showcased in the film and also delight fans of all ages."
"Working with EA, we look forward to offering fans the most authentic Harry Potter game to date, one which captures the compelling story of the fiction and high visual quality of the movie," said Jason Hall, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "After reading the book and seeing the film, fans will be able to take advantage of the complete interactive experience with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game."
The close and synergistic relationship between book, film and videogame is more defined in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix videogame than ever before. Players will be able to explore the many key locations within Hogwarts in minute detail, each one a visual match to its film equivalent, while being engrossed in the thrilling adventures outlined in the rich narrative of the book.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts and discovers that much of the wizarding community is in denial about the teenager's recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort, preferring to turn a blind eye to the news that Voldemort has returned. Fearing that Hogwarts' venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is lying about Voldemort's return in order to undermine his power and take his job, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the Hogwarts students. But Professor Dolores Umbridge's Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the dark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community, so at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves "Dumbledore's Army," Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.
With the ability to play multiple characters, including Harry Potter, Dumbledore and Sirius Black, the videogame of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix offers fans the opportunity to wield a wand, explore all around Hogwarts, and experience one of the most exciting and dangerous years in the life of the Boy Who Lived.
Under development by EA's UK Studio, the team behind the worldwide success of the Harry Potter library of games, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is scheduled for release for the Nintendo Wii(TM), PlayStationۏ, Xbox 360(TM), PlayStationێ, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy® Advance, and Windows PC.