Harry Potter and the Pottermore web mystery
JK ROWLING is facing a backlash from frustrated Harry Potter fans over delays to the launch of Pottermore, her interactive website.
The site was announced with great fanfare in June last year and fans were promised full access in October.
Five months on, the site is still in the ‘Beta’ testing phase and no explanation has been given for the failure to launch.
A spokesman for Rowling would say only that the author was “not ready to say” why it had been delayed. “There is no further information at the moment - but it will be obvious when it is announced.”
The spokesman added: "We appreciate fans’ patience, and as soon as we’re in a position to let them know more, we will do so."
The interactive site is intended as a meeting place for fans, offering games, discussion forums, film clips and access to e-books.
At the time of its launch, Rowling said Pottermore was “a really great way to give back to the Harry Potter readership, who made the books such a big success”.
The author has written 18,000 words of extra Harry Potter material for the site.
Fans expressed their frustrations online and criticised Rowling for failing to keep them updated.
“This is very, very bad advertising for JKR. Is she aware of what is happening? It is frustrating for all the fans, and worst of all there is no satisfactory response,” wrote one.
“It seems the eye is bigger than the belly. Come on JKR - get your finger out and type a response. It’s the fans of your writing that put you where you are today."
Others took to Twitter to complain.
Gaming experts said technical problems could be the cause of the delays.
Tristan Donovan, author of Replay: The History of Video Games, said: “They [online games] are very complex to create and at the testing stage there can be a lot of problems.
“With Pottermore, it’s likely that technical problems have been uncovered and it’s taking quite a bit of time to fix it. Making an online game perfect for its users is really quite a daunting and ambitious task so it’s unsurprising they have had delays.”
We appreciate fans’ patience, and as soon as we’re in a position to let them know more, we will do so via the Insider blog.