Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup E3 2003 Preshow Report

This spin-off of the Harry Potter series focuses on the high-flying sport of quidditch.

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Electronic Arts UK is working on an adaptation of the Harry Potter franchise into a sports game based on quidditch, the game portrayed in both the books and the movies. A game of quidditch takes place entirely in the air--all the wizards and witches participating fly on brooms while playing. Both teams in a quidditch match attempt to score points by hurling balls into the opposing team's goal. However, these points merely serve as a diversion from the real goal of quidditch, which is to capture a tiny, winged ball called a snitch. Each team has one player designated as a seeker, and this person is charged with dodging the other players while looking for, and then chasing down, the snitch. Once a player captures the snitch, his or her team automatically wins the match.

Quidditch's aerial nature seems uniquely suited for portrayal in a video game, and indeed Quidditch World Cup will give you a lot of options for experiencing the complicated (if fictional) sport. You'll be able to play all the game's positions--in addition to the aforementioned seeker, you can be a beater, who uses a club to fight off malicious, heavy balls called bludgers; a chaser, who scores the lesser 10-point goals; and a keeper, who guards the three goal rings.

Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup will feature a lot of familiar names and faces from the books and movies. You'll be able to play as Harry Potter himself, as well as Draco Malfoy and a collection of other notable characters. In the initial stages of the game, you can compete on any of Hogwarts' four house teams--Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin--as you vie for the coveted Hogwarts House Cup. Later in the game, you can play on a number of international teams and compete for the World Cup. The game will also feature two-player simultaneous support so you can play against a friend, and there will be a number of secret items to unlock, such as cards and special moves. Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup is slated for release in the fall. We'll bring you more information about the game as it becomes available.

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