Potter to Work 'Interactive Magic'

A British computer games firm, Electronic Arts, said today it had won the worldwide rights to develop games based on the wildly popular Harry Potter series of children’s books.

The company, based in Chertsey and listed on Nasdaq, said it had also secured the rights to develop and publish Harry Potter games for the Internet. The terms of the deal with Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc, were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited to become part of the Harry Potter phenomenon by bringing our own brand of interactive magic to this fantastic series,” Don Mattrick, president of Electronic Arts’ studios said in a statement.

The Potter Phenomenon

The Harry Potter series, penned by Scottish author J.K. Rowling, has become a worldwide publishing phenomenon. The first three Harry Potter books sold 30 million copies and the fourth in Rowling’s tales of wizardry, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, which was released only last month, has also generated a frenzy of interest.

The latest book has become the biggest seller in the history of online book sales, according to online retailer Amazon.com.uk and a blockbuster Harry Potter movie is also being planned by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Actors Richard Harris and Alan Rickman are in talks to star in the film, while the search for a young Harry Potter continues, the Hollywood Reporter said on Wednesday.

Electronic Arts will publish games on each of the books, the upcoming feature film and any subsequent Harry Potter movies.

Electronic Arts said it would work closely with Rowling, and the makers of the film, to ensure the “interactive entertainment experience” remained true to the book.

The company’s shares closed on Wednesday at $85-1/4.