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Warner Bros Games/Avalanche Software

The Power of Nostalgia in the Hogwarts Legacy Trailers

February 14th, 2023
Category: Research, Blog
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The Nostalgia Effect

In February, our team performed content testing on two trailers for the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy game. The game’s marketing strategy heavily relied on nostalgic symbols and promised players various experiences like exploring the Hogwarts campus and battling unique creatures. Despite the expert content production, some respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the trailers. Specifically, they disliked the lack of gameplay footage, the unrealistic appearance of humans compared to the animals, and the dragon’s clunky movements. Further, there were concerns regarding J.K. Rowling’s involvement in game funding, potentially hindering game sale success.

Although the game has potential for commercial success, our study identified a discrepancy in respondents’ willingness to buy and pre-order the game.
Warner Bros Games/Avalanche Software
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Warner Bros Games/Avalanche Software

Top Insights

  • After viewing the Hogwarts Legacy video trailers, most respondents displayed positive engagement and felt happy or inspired.
  • The two trailers heavily relied on nostalgic storytelling, symbols, and events from the Harry Potter series to connect fans to the game through familiarity.
  • There was criticism from some respondents regarding the lack of gameplay footage and the subpar appearance of humans compared to the detailed animals.
  • Respondents praised the content development of graphics, character design, combat system, the game’s faithfulness to the Harry Potter universe, and its unique spin on the source material.
  • Some study respondents expressed concerns about J.K. Rowling’s controversial opinions and her involvement in the game’s funding.
  • The trailers could benefit from showcasing more domestication of creatures to differentiate the game from other franchises and tie into the Fantastic Beasts spinoff.
  • Most respondents expressed interest in purchasing the game and wanted to pre-order it, indicating strong sales potential. Further, most promoters wanted to pre-order the game.
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Evaluation of engagement and emotions

The Hogwarts game trailer immerses viewers in the world of wizardry and presents the process of becoming a wizard – using nostalgic symbols and events that fans of Harry Potter will recognize. The trailer's use of iconic music and familiar characters strengthens the connection to the source material and promises unique and extraordinary experiences. However, the inclusion of dragon battles and fantastic creatures (without revealing their potential for domestication) feels reminiscent of other franchises, such as Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, and could benefit from highlighting the aspect of taming creatures, as shown in Fantastic Beasts. Overall, the trailer offers an entertaining experience for both beginners and fans of the series.

The trailer has received positive responses from its audience right from the beginning. The appearance of locations and characters, such as the hall with candles and the ghost, is accompanied by a high level of engagement and empathy.

The owl's flight overcoming obstacles brings the audience to a peak of involvement and empathy at the end of Act II. As a result of overcoming these obstacles, the audience experiences positive emotions, leading to a strong emotional connection between the content and the viewer.

The presence of positive emotions on the packshot is a clear indication of the audience's anticipation of the game's release and their willingness to purchase it.

Hogwarts legace audience engagement, positive and negative emotions, empathy

Evaluation of elements perception

The packshot contains a multitude of elements in a concentrated manner. The primary focus is on the game's name and the call-to-action message prompting viewers to pre-order it.

Minor elements, such as logos or the description of a deluxe edition, received minimal attention or may have gone unnoticed.

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Hogwarts legacy market research

According to the market research survey, most respondents were enthusiastic about the game, with female participants more likely to express positive opinions. In addition, almost all promoters in the focus groups expressed interest in purchasing and pre-ordering the game. However, detractors accounted for 21% of respondents, with a higher proportion of females expressing negative views. Although most detractors enjoyed both trailers and the Harry Potter references, only a small percentage appreciated the character design. Thus, many detractors were uncertain about buying or pre-ordering the game, and almost half did not want to pre-order it. The Net Promotor Score, representing audience engagement, was positive at 24.

Please note that all photos used in this post are for informational and educational purposes only. These images are not being used for commercial purposes, and are intended solely to illustrate the results of research. We do not claim ownership or authorship of any of the photos used in this post, and all credit goes to their respective owners.

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