JK Rowling and Warner Bros. have embarked on a joint venture to expand the Harry Potter franchise online and reach “a broader audience” than through its current digital channels.
The new agreement will see both rights holders pool their respective publishing and movie sides of the Harry Potter franchise for Wizarding World Digital, a new online platform – no, not like the one at King’s Cross – that will be able to draw on asset and content from across the canon, including spin-off entries such as Fantastic Beasts.
Wizarding World Digital will be run by staff from Pottermore, which will itself be folded into the new platform in due course – a move that subscribers are being made aware of under GDPR regulations. New management will be brought in to oversee the new site, but no job cuts will be made.
Neil Blair, chairman of Pottermore and Rowling’s agent, told The Bookseller that Wizarding World Digital will “widen and deepen what we have been able to do on Pottermore so far” by removing rights issues.
With Rowling and Warner Bros. working in harmony to bring a richer experience to fans online, “the only limits will be out imaginations and what technology is available,” he says.
Pottermore was originally set up to market and sell Harry Potter ebooks, audio books and other related merchandise, but quickly morphed into the official online home of the brand. In 2015 the site rebranded as “the digital heart of the Wizarding World” and has since acted as a hub, where fans gravitate to read Harry Potter news, share thoughts and theories, and enjoy the site’s interactive fiction, such as the famous Sorting Hat quiz.All content from Pottermore will be moved to wizardingworld.com from 15 May.