We wrote yesterday about Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s mysterious new (yet to be launched) website Pottermore–and the reasons it could be an e-bookstore. But some fans are pushing an alternate theory. Here it is:
Warner Brothers trademarked Pottermore.com on July 23, 2009, and offered some detail about its plans. Here’s the original trademark:
Providing multiple-user access to a global computer information network; providing on-line chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among users in the field of general interest; providing on-line communications links which transfer the web site user to other local and global web pages; providing on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users concerning topics of general interest
The company subsequently filed for a trademark on a boatload of other products, including “on-line retail store services featuring prerecorded audio books [and] electronic books,” but everything from crayons to cellphone covers are also listed, so WB could just be covering its bases.
However, the original trademark has led to speculation that Pottermore.com could be an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). The possibilities of such a game being in development have been rumored since 2008, possibly in association with Turbine, a Warner Bros.-owned company that made MMO games like Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online. And The Guardian suggested Pottermore is an acronym: “Potter Multiplayer Online Role-playing Experience.”
Some of the editors of the most popular Harry Potter fansites–those that were part of Rowling’s scavenger hunt to reveal the letters in Pottermore–also got to preview the site. “Leaky has seen a preview of Pottermore and it is breathtaking,” wrote The Leaky Cauldron, while HPANA said the site was “breathtaking in scope, detail and sheer beauty.”