The next Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy, by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. and developer Avalanche Software is scheduled for release in 2022. It will allow players to customize their characters’ genders, body types, voice, and placement in their dormitories. This means characters will be able to choose a masculine or feminine voice and how they are addressed in the game no matter what kind of body they have.
News of the game taking more of a step towards inclusivity comes in the wake of the controversy involving J.K. Rowling after she made several comments seen as transphobic last year. Many public figures, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, soon denounced Rowling’s views. Rowling’s comments even had some members of the development team of Hogwarts Legacy enraged, causing them to take a firmer stance in getting the game to be more inclusive. This also led to having a transgender character added despite resistance from management at first.
The controversy doesn’t just stop with J.K. Rowling. Hogwarts Legacy was also under fire just last month when it was revealed that the senior producer, Troy Leavitt, at the Salt Lake City based Avalanche made several YouTube videos attacking feminism and the idea of social justice; he then voiced his support for Gamergate, a community of gamers that has been known to harass journalists and game developers for having progressive views and opinions.
The multibillion-dollar franchise has been troubled and overshadowed by the views of its creator for quite some time now, but it seems that steps are being taken to distance itself from J.K. Rowling altogether, leaving her and others with similar views behind in a constantly evolving world that is on the road to progress.
When I’m not busy daydreaming or having an existential crisis, I can usually be found watching a movie or TV, listening to music or a podcast, or with my nose in a book.