by: Chris Morris of Plugged In
For the past few weeks, the Web has been buzzing about J. K. Rowling's mysterious Pottermore project. And while details won't be officially unveiled until Thursday, all signs are pointing to it being an online game revolving around the Harry Potter universe.
A leaked memo has revealed Pottermore to be a persistent world that blends World of Warcraft with real world treasure hunts. Users will dig up clues, which will let them find prizes in the real world.
The memo says Thursday's announcement, which will come via YouTube, will discuss the project's partners and focus on what people can find - particularly quills and wands hidden around the U.S. and U.K.
As often happens with leaks of major projects, it's unclear if the game is the full extent of Pottermore - or simply a tie-in promotion for a larger project. Rowling has made it clear, though, that whatever Pottermore may be, it is NOT a new Harry Potter book.
Potter fansite The Leaky Cauldron is one of the few places that apparently has seen the project. Not surprisingly, they've taken an unbreakable vow of silence about the specifics, but have previously described it as "one of the most amazing, engaging and breathtaking additions to this fandom imaginable".
(Keep in mind, that's a fan site - so the Hogwarts Hype Express runs pretty fast there.)
As for the rest of us Muggles, we'll learn tomorrow how accurate these reports are - and exactly what Rowling has in store for us.
There's good reason for the excitement. The Harry Potter books have sold about 450 million copies worldwide, given birth to a massive film franchise, several video game tie-ins and a theme park. Forbes ranks Rowling as one of the richest women in Britain, with an estimated wealth of $1 billion.