As of this writing, Hogwarts Legacy is only two weeks away from launch, yet it has been clouded in controversy with Alan Tew, the game director, making a statement on the matter. This issue has been present for some time, but as its release draws closer, it has left many Harry Potter fans in a quandary. Many individuals who enjoyed the Wizarding World as they grew up have long awaited an open-world RPG set in its universe—such as this one—but J.K. Rowling’s transphobic remarks have caused some of the game’s fanbase to consider if they should boycott the title or not.
In 2019, two years after the Wizarding World game’s development had likely begun, J.K. Rowling’s transphobic leanings were made public. Recently, she infamously jeered a trans gamer who argued that backing Hogwarts Legacy was damaging. Regardless of any excuses that may be made, including how Rowling is not directly associated with the game (but does profit from it since it is based on her world), her views are still linked to the game.
In the past few weeks, there has been an increased amount of attention on Hogwarts Legacy, with details on characters, plot, character creation, previews, and more. IGN recently reached out to Tew to discuss the ethical issues raised by the game, and Tew acknowledged these difficulties, but emphasized that the development team are passionate about what their fans love about the Wizarding World. “We know our fans fell in love with the Wizarding World, and we believe they fell in love with it for the right reasons.”
Tew emphasized that their goal is to ensure that the game’s fanbase, who have long desired the game, would have a place to call their own. He did not mention Rowling by name and refrained from making any direct address to the game’s trans audience. When asked if he had any reservations about working on Harry Potter IP, he paused, but then reiterated that Hogwarts Legacy was created with all players in mind.
The future of the situation is unknown, but one thing is for sure, the debate is here to stay. That hasn’t hindered Hogwarts Legacy from being a highly anticipated game, though. Reports indicate that pre-orders for the game are through the roof, possibly setting it up to be a top-selling title in 2023.
The highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy will be available to play on February 10th for the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X, followed by the PS4 and Xbox One on April 4th, and concluding with the Nintendo Switch release on July 25th.