Brewing a megahit
Last week, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that Hogwarts Legacy, a video game set some 200 years before the main events of the Harry Potter series, had passed $850m in sales just 2 weeks since its release.
That reception makes the game one of the fastest selling of all time, behind megahits such as Grand Theft Auto V and Cyberpunk 2077, confirming that JK Rowling’s personal controversy has failed to meaningfully dampen the excitement for all things Hogwarts.
$850m in sales brings Hogwarts Legacy ahead of each movie in the Fantastic Beasts (FB) spinoff series, the most recent of which limped to an unfantastic $407m in sales at the global box office. Indeed, considering the figures are just 2 weeks worth of sales, Hogwarts Legacy compares pretty favorably even with the megahits that were the original movie series (though the box office figures haven't been adjusted for inflation, which would certainly be meaningful over 20+ years).
The success of the game is a good reminder of 2 things. One is that people really like Harry Potter. The second is just how big the video game industry is. Indeed, the latest estimates put the total video game industry, including revenues from mobile, console and PC games, north of $175bn a year, nearly 7x the ~$26bn that the global box office took.
Want to build a mega-franchise? Starting with books, moving to movies, merchandise… and eventually video games is a pretty tried and tested method.