At Sony’s PlayStation 5 showcase earlier this week, the company revealed Hogwarts Legacy, a game set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This, of course, comes at one of the worst possible times. While just a few short months ago, news of a Wizarding World video game adventure would have caused jubilation throughout the fandom, recent actions taken by Potter author J.K. Rowling have caused many to boycott the Potter books and anything having anything to do with the controversial writer.
Recently, Rowling has made a number of controversial statements surrounding the legitimacy of trans women, leading many to accuse her of being a transphobe, or a TERF, which stands for Trans Exclusive Radical Feminist.
Rowling then doubled down on her statements, releasing a long-winded essay that she thought would clear everything up and prove she was not a transphobe.
The essay had the exact opposite effect, with many referring to it as a transphobic manifesto. It was so widely panned that cast members from the Harry Potter movies, including Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint spoke out against Rowling in a show of support for the trans community.
Since then, Rowling has returned a human rights award that she was presented with after the organization spoke out against her views and even blocked horror writer Stephen King on Twitter after he stated that, “trans women are women.”
That brings us to Hogwarts Legacy, a new Wizarding World RPG, which will release in 2021.
Immediately there was a social media outcry about the game with calls for boycotting it in an attempt to not support Rowling.
In a seeming attempt to counteract this movement, Warner Bros. Games posted a FAQ page about the game, which included a question as to whether J.K. Rowling was involved with it.
“J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game,” WB Games said. “However, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World. This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”
However, it should be noted that, while she was not involved in a creative fashion, J.K. Rowling still reaps financial benefits from the title. That means while you might not be supporting a creative work of hers, you would still be financially supporting Rowling by purchasing the title.
Obviously, game development is a long and storied process. Work for this game began years before Rowling’s controversial stances caused her to become persona non grata in a number of societal circles.