Last week, J. K. Rowling led fans on an online scavenger hunt to a mysterious website, Pottermore.com, set to launch June 23. Fierce internet speculation ensued that the site could be an e-bookstore or an multiplayer online role-playing game. Now there appears to be new evidence for the game theory.
The Times UK reports (paywall) that it has received an official marketing memo, apparently by mistake, talking about the project in more detail. The paper says the memo “suggests that [Pottermore.com] is a sophisticated online game that contains clues to prizes that are hidden in the real world. These are an unstated number of magic wands secreted in Britain and America, and possibly other countries.”
Pottermore.com is supposed to be officially announced tomorrow. The Times UK notes that it is “not clear whether the treasure hunt is Pottermore itself, or merely a marketing drive for another product,” and it is also unclear whether the memo was actually accidentally leaked or is simply a savvy marketing ploy.
Given the playfulness and secrecy surrounding the unveiling of Pottermore.com, it is very possible that this “leak” was orchestrated by the people behind the new venture. Another British newspaper, The Independent, has a story today reporting that it and other UK newspapers have also received an apparently confidential memo talking about the strategy for the site’s launch, including the timeline for press releases, who will handle media inquiries, and the plan for daily promotion around the new site.