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EA announces Quidditch World Cup

Bedknobs!

EA has finally taken the step and EG's resident Potter fans [Rob and Tom, not me -Ed] have been yearning for - they've decided to make a proper Quidditch game - Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup.

We're pretty confident that many of you won't have the first clue what Quidditch actually entails, but even if you do here's a reminder.

The game consists of two teams of seven players each who fly around on broomsticks. There are four balls in simultaneous play (the football-sized Quaffle, two smaller Bludgers and the tiny, winged Golden Snitch), and various sorts of players (Chasers, Beaters, a Keeper and a Seeker).

The object is for the team's 'Chasers' to score points by throwing the Quaffle through a big hoop in the air (10 per score), whilst each team's Seeker attempts to capture the Snitch - the team that does this receives 150 points, and this is also the only way to end the game. For its part, the Snitch will be darting around like a hopped up bumble bee.

Elsewhere, the two Bludgers race around trying to smack everyone off their broomsticks, and it's the Beaters' job to protect their team-mates from it. That's what the Weasley twins do, for those of you who've seen the film and vaguely remember.

EA's game of the pseudo-sport will feature all the characters from the films in the various House teams competing in the Hogwarts Cup, and then perhaps moving on to the international World Cup tournament, in which players can choose to play for the professional teams featured in the books (with their various star players, like Victor Krum).

As you'd expect from one of EA's sports titles, teams will be appropriately dressed in their own stadiums, boasting their own strengths and weaknesses too - and we'll have both single and multiplayer modes (the latter being a first for a Potter title).

Quidditch World Cup is currently in development at EA's UK studio, and is due out later this year on PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC and GBA.

Feeling in the office is that the game could either be sheer genius, or utter rubbish. In all likelihood EA will try and make the game easy enough for kids to handle, so it might not live up to our (high) expectations. We'll see. We certainly want to see, although we imagine many of you do not.