We have new developments on the controversy surrounding The Wizarding World Online, aka Harry Potter MMO for those who want to call it what it actually is. If you recall, studio Bio-Hazard Entertainment launched a Kickstarter for this so-called fan-project, asking for $100,000. The page mentioned that the game was based on the Harry Potter IP and that the studio had the permission of IP owners Warner Bros. to go ahead and develop a prototype. However, many of you found it somewhat fishy and as it turned out, the Kickstarter was canceled just a few days later, with no explanation.
If you access the old The Wizarding World Online Kickstarter page, you’ll find out why – Warner Bros. actually slapped the project with a cease & desist, as you can read below:
“Description of copyrighted material: Warner Bros, is the owner of exclusive rights, including copyrights and other intellectual property rights, in the Harry Potter series of stories and films.
Description of infringing material: This campaign is devoted to the creation of an MMO game based on the Harry Potter stories and films. This game is unauthorized and violates Warner Bros.’s rights in the property. “
Bio-Hazard Entertainment has commented on this on the official forums, saying that “people expected something from us that we were not eligible to speak about, which in this case is the licenses and permits from WB.” Which, quite clearly, they didn’t own. They go on to defend themselves from the scamming accusations and add that “Bio-Hazard will be re-branding and closing down the name […] to protect both the communities, projects and employees presented by Bio-Hazard”. Somewhat surprisingly, the studio reveals that “the game is still in full motion and will continue to be produced. The game has not been stopped and will continue slowly to be made and developed. With that being said it is required that our community grows to a large number before things can be presented.”
We like persistence as much as the next guy, but considering that it all began in March 2014 and it’s the second time Warner Bros. shuts down this project, isn’t this just a bit too much for a little wizard to take?