Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Feature

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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What's Next Kotick? Sharks With Lazer Beams Attached to Their Heads?

In news that would make Dr. Evil blush, Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced today that Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has surpassed the $1 billion mark in worldwide retail sales since its launch in November. Now is the part in the story where you take a second to make a joke comparing Dr. Evil and Activision Blizzard, Inc. Seriously, stop making jokes already. Modern Warfare 2 already dominated worldwide theatrical box office gross figures in its first five days, earning an estimated $550 million. This figure eclipsed the earnings for Avatar, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Dark Knight. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has exceeded our expectations and shattered theatrical box office and video game records," said Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "There are only a handful of entertainment properties that have ever reached the $1 billion mark, which illustrates the power of the Call of Duty franchise and mass appeal of this game." Read More


Modern Warfare 2 Breaks Entertainment Industry Record, Grosses $550 Million in Five Days

There has been loads of news about Modern Warfare 2 selling like hotcakes, though in this case they're molten, steaming hotcakes. Finally, Activision has released their official five-day sales numbers, and it turns out MW2 is the biggest entertainment release ever. Yup, Bobby Kotick called it. The game has grossed $550 million worldwide in its first five days, which sounds like a lot on its own, but there's nothing like a little scale comparison. Read on to find out how the game stacks up against other entertainment releases. Read More


E3 2009: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Screens

EA has brought forth a dozen new screens from their delayed Harry Potter game, The Half-Blood Prince, which is meant to tie in with the release of the upcoming movie of the same name, based on the book of the same name. A trifecta of wizardry! Check them out in our gallery. Read More


EA to Lose $120 Million this Quarter on Harry Potter Delay

As a result of EA's decision to push back the release of its Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game to the summer of 2009, which is when the Hollywood movie of the same name debuts, the company will lose out on the $120 million the game was projected to contribute to EA's current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2009. Sounds like it'll put a big dent in the Electronic Arts holiday party -- that is, until you realize the company is still slated to make gobs and gobs of money this year. While significant, the revenue is only a fraction of the $4.9 billion to $5.15 billion total earnings the publisher has forecast for its full fiscal year. -- GameSpot Of course, Electronic Arts will probably make up that money in the next fiscal year when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ships next summer. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some coupons to go clip out of this week's sale papers. Read More


EA and Warner Bros. Interactive Confirm Harry Potter Delay, Will Ship with Movie in Summer '09

After what seems like much deliberation, EA and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that they will indeed be putting the next trip to Hogwarts on hold until the movie releases in Summer of 2009."We're excited about the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game in development and its high level of authenticity and playability," said Robert Nashak, Vice President EA Casual Studios. "We are creating an immersive game experience that Potter fans around the world will really enjoy playing as they fly and duel their way through the story of the film. The game will feature new Wii gestures and increased gameplay capabilities across all of the platforms." "The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince game will be an excellent interactive extension of the film and all of the new action that comes with it," said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "EA is creating the Harry Potter video games that fans will love, and this game will deliver new gameplay elements and the magic players are looking forward to." "We have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with EA in collaborating on the videogames for all of the Harry Potter films," said Harry Potter film Producer David Heyman. "The visual look of the game for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is incredibly authentic to the film and will provide a truly compelling experience for everyone who plays." -- Press ReleaseWhile I have little doubts the game will probably make bank for EA, I suppose it's likely that it would do even better alongside the movie's release than it would on its own, even with all the little Potter-scrubbers out there who've pored over every page of the book until they know the meaning of every last word. Read More


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Made for Wii First

A multi-platform game... with lead development on the Wii? In this day and age, it seems unlikely. Sure, Harry Potter has always had its lead platform be on the most popular one, from PS1 to PS2 to even the 360 for a time. But usually, the fine print beneath "the most popular" says something about "between the two powerhouses," with the Wii being an afterthought, or worse, seeing ports from the PlayStation 2 versions. But not this time, apparently. Not for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."We made that decision from day one," he told me last week. "We did, I think, a good job with the Wii last year, but we're doing a great job this year. Because this is where the casual audience is, the mass audience is here. It's a great control system, but you've got to learn to use it." EA wants as many people as possible playing their "Harry Potter" games and Bunney saw the traditional control scheme as an obstacle for many users. "I think the biggest learning we had this year is that you port your controls up as opposed to down," he said. Bunney explained how EA had to reverse their traditional thinking. One of the biggest complaints lodged against multiplatform game on Wii is a sense motion controls were tacked on. ... "We lived where somehow L2 means hit someone on the head," he said. "That makes zero sense [to a casual player]. But if I asked, 'How do you do it on the Wii?' [performs a simple motion gesture] That makes sense. -- Executive Producer Jonathan Bunney to MTV MultiplayerIn addition, Bunney's team has worked hard to make the Wii version look good, saying "I'm really proud of how it looks. It does not look like a Wii game to me. There's no excuse to not having the Wii version looking great." Damn right. And with the recent delay of the film, maybe they'll get to polish the game up further before release. Read More


EA's Potter Release Affected by Movie Delay?

Oh, what trouble have those kids from Hogwarts found themselves in this time? Warner Bros. announced that it would be delaying its theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from November 21 to July 2009, which may affect the holiday plans EA had for the tie-in games' release (planned across at least nine platforms).Though EA is not to blame for this delay, the negative impact will likely be the same nonetheless. ... We doubt that EA will attempt to release the title without the movie. It's definitely a reversal of the way things usually work. Usually the movie's on time, and EA's late with the game. But EA has the game pretty much done and ready, now the movie's delayed.-- Todd Greenwald, Signal Hill analyst to Edge OnlineAccording to EA, "We are making a great game that Harry Potter fans will really enjoy--we are evaluating the impact of the movie date change." Usually, a game based on a movie is rushed to meet the deadline, resulting in lackluster efforts. Will EA use this time to add some extra polish to the title, or let it sit in the can for another year? Read More