Zynga has officially announced that it's working on a Harry Potter match-3 game for mobile. This game is called Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, and of course, Zynga has yet to share a single screenshot or video of the title. Paradoxically Zynga has noted that the game is already available as a soft-launch release in the Philippines, which means the studio is already publicly testing the title, which begs the question as to why there are zero screenshots or videos shared with today's announcement. Could it be that Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is such a shallow cash grab that it's in the developer's best interest to hide what the game looks like before an official worldwide release?

Typically I would share a gameplay video where this text is, but so far, Zynga is perfectly happy building up hype for the eventual release of Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells without offering a single glimpse of what the game looks like. This lack of useful information is matched by the PR released today that goes into excruciating detail about all of the fanservice included in the title, though a description of the gameplay loop is conveniently absent. So too is any information about the title's planned monetization or release date. As it stands, all we know is that the game will offer user-made characters that will get to unlock Wizarding World elements by discovering new spells and brewing potions. We also know brain teasers and other puzzle-inspired play will be included. These few details, of course, do not actually explain how the game will ultimately work, but since it's a match-3 title, it's probably safe to assume it will play just like the rest.

As you would expect, Zynga is looking to build up hype for what is clearly a licensed cash grab slapped onto the shallowest of casual games, a match-3 title. This is why today's PR strategically avoids any and all subjects that would actually inform the potential player base about what's actually to be expected from the game. Of course, since Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells was soft-launched in the Philippines recently, I'm sure gameplay videos will start to pop up online, whether Zynga likes it or not. So at the very least interested parties won't be left in the dark for long.

Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq:ZNGA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, announced the soft launch of Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells in select markets. Officially licensed from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and published under the Portkey Games label, the game weaves innovative match-3 puzzle gameplay with the iconic characters, narrative, settings, spell-casting and magical mischief of the Wizarding World.

“We are incredibly proud to bring Harry Potter to Zynga's portfolio and are dedicated to creating a game that's worthy of the Wizarding World and its legions of fans,” said Bernard Kim, President of Publishing at Zynga. “By combining the ubiquity of mobile and the expertise of Zynga’s development team in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we are crafting a game that will delight fans of all ages around the globe.”

Fans have continued to honour and extend the wonder of the Wizarding World by engaging in Harry Potter quizzes, brain teasers and other puzzle-inspired play. Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells celebrates this affinity for challenge and mystery with the first match-3 puzzle game for mobile devices. In the game, players create their own persona and experience the excitement and mysteries of the Wizarding World in an enchanting new way. Unlocking Wizarding World elements, including new spells and brewing potions as they progress, players will encounter the most iconic moments and memorable faces from the original Harry Potter films. Utilising magic abilities and objects to prevail, players will face matching puzzles populated with Chocolate Frogs and other obstacles as they “swish and flick” through fanciful levels.

Proving their magical mettle, players will earn experience points as they progress in the game. From Daily Events to interactive puzzles, players will earn XP to gain new magical abilities and rewards, level up their skills and spells, as well as customise their unique, in-game personas. Players will also have the option to form clubs and join forces with other fans to socialise, participate in special in-game cooperative activities and experience the camaraderie of the Wizarding World.

Fans can visit www.zynga.com to stay tuned for further updates for Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, which will launch worldwide for iOS and Android devices, as well as Amazon Kindle and Facebook.

About Zynga
Zynga is a global leader in interactive entertainment with a mission to connect the world through games. To date, more than one billion people have played Zynga’s franchises, including: CSR Racing™Empires & Puzzles™, Merge Dragons! ™Words With Friends™ and Zynga Poker™. Zynga’s games are available in more than 150 countries and are playable across social platforms and mobile devices worldwide. Founded in 2007, the company is headquartered in San Francisco with studios in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, India, Turkey and Finland. For more information, visit www.zynga.com or follow Zynga on TwitterInstagramFacebook or the Zynga blog.

About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc., is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all platforms, including console, handheld, mobile and PC-based gaming for both internal and third-party game titles.

About Portkey Games
Portkey Games, from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is the games label dedicated to creating new Wizarding World mobile and videogame experiences that place the player at the center of their own adventure, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s original stories. Portkey Games offers players the opportunity to make their own narrative choices and engage with the Wizarding World setting to create new and unique experiences. The label was created to bring gamers and fans new gaming experiences that allow them to delve into the magic of the Wizarding World in immersive ways where they can define their own Wizarding World story.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the name, release timeframe, and gameplay details of an upcoming Harry Potter game. Forward-looking statements often include words such as “outlook,” “projected,” “planned,” “intends,” “will,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “target,” “expect,” and statements in the future tense are generally forward-looking. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements involves significant risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We assume no obligation to update such statements. More information about these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions are or will be described in greater detail in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at http://investor.zynga.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

WIZARDING WORLD, HARRY POTTER Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling. HARRY POTTER: PUZZLES & SPELLS, PORTKEY GAMES, WIZARDING WORLD and HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia © and ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. ™ Zynga Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WBIE LOGO, WB SHIELD: ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20)

Zynga releases Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells teaser trailer

It would appear that development for Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is moving along, and so Zynga just released the first teaser trailer for the match-3 title. As you would expect, very little actual gameplay is shown, but since we already know this game will serve as a reskin of Zynga's many Candy Crush clones, it would appear that those already testing the game have pointed to the same pitfalls found in similar titles, such as an inability to progress after a certain level without paying for powerups. So yeah, Zynga is up to its old tricks, and so Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is already shaping up to be a blatant cash-grab. I suppose this is why Zynga hasn't bothered to show much of the title's gameplay in the above trailer, because honestly, who can get excited for yet another branded piece of garbage?

Oh, and if you thought Zynga would take the time to announce a release date in the above teaser trailer, think again. We still don't know when the game will arrive, though one thing is for sure, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is already filled with in-app purchases that range all the way up to $99.99 per item.

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells lands on the Play Store in early access

The last we heard about Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells was back in May when Zynga released a teaser trailer that conspicuously didn't show a lick of gameplay. Well, as of this morning, the title finally popped up on the Play Store, and it's already available in early access. Oddly enough, the new Play Store listing doesn't contain a gameplay video either, almost as if Zynga doesn't want people to see how the game plays, thus forcing curious parties to install the title to see what's actually on offer.

Surprise surprise, the title plays just like every other match-3 game from Zynga, and so you'll hit a grind-wall once you reach a certain level since the game pretty much requires powerups to advance through its buggy puzzles. Of course, since this is an early access release, bugs and a lack of polish are expected, though it's not like the game's lackluster state has stopped Zynga from stuffing the title with in-app purchases, which conveniently range up to $99.99 per item. Zynga's priorities are clear with this release, not that this greed should come as a surprise to anyone.

So if for some reason you have a hankering to play the latest match-3 cash-grab from Zynga, or simply want to explore how the studio has capitalized on the Harry Potter license, you can grab the early access install for Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells directly below.

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Developer: Zynga
Price: To be announced