Harry Potter fans may be relieved to find out that according to WB games–parent company of Hogwarts Legacy developers Avalanche and Portkey Games–series author J.K. Rowling did not have a direct role in creating the new game.
In its FAQ, WB stated, “J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game, however, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World.” It goes on to note that Hogwarts Legacy “is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG set in 1800’s Hogwarts, before both the Fantastic Beasts films and the original series. Fans have been waiting a long time for a AAA Harry Potter game, but the announcement may have come too late.
Rowling has stirred up a good amount of controversy over her repeated transphobic takes on Twitter, the most recent of which caught her mocking a headline that used the phrase “people who menstruate.” She also decided to “explain” her position through a lengthy blog post that pretty much just dug her heels in, including a comment on trans men being included in radical feminism because they were “born women.” These statements have led to many people calling her a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist). This is troubling for some given that her latest book centers around a man who dresses as a woman to commit murders.
These beliefs and statements from Rowling have led to a divide in the Harry Potter fandom. While some are calling for boycotts of the game, others feel it would be unfair to punish the developers for the author’s sins. Regardless of what actions consumers decide to take, Rowling’s actions and words caused enough of a stir for WB to issue a statement after her initial comments, and now to officially announce her limited involvement in Hogwarts Legacy.
While she may not be directly involved, it’s safe to assume she will still be raking in royalties as Rowling still profits from the Wizarding World IP in its entirety. With these lasting fingerprints, it’s clear WB has felt the need to address her influence, but it seems like the game won’t be able to fully escape the shadow Rowling now casts.
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