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EA's Harry Potter delay zaps $120M

Following Half-Blood Prince's bump to summer 2009, publisher says it will have multimillion-dollar hole in its current fiscal year earnings expectations.


Yesterday, EA confirmed what many had suspected, saying that the game tie-in for Warner Bros.'s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would join its celluloid cousin in summer 2009. Previously, the sixth film based off of J.K. Rowlings' boy-wizard novels had been expected in November, firmly rooted in EA's third fiscal quarter.

As expected, Harry Potter's truancy won't be without consequence. The gamemaker reported today that it had expected Half-Blood Prince to contribute $120 million in revenue during the company's current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2009. 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.

EA did not reveal whether the new summer release window would impact its earnings expectations for the game. However, once considered anathema for high-profile releases, the summer window was turned on its ear this year after a number of top-tier titles were abruptly transplanted out of the holiday 2007 lineup. Titles once a lock for last year's holiday quarter that went on to multimillion unit sales this year include Metal Gear Solid 4, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Grand Theft Auto IV.

Developed at EA's Guildford, UK-based Bright Light Studio, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Nintendo DS, PC, Mac, and mobile devices next year. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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