It’s almost impossible to imagine a Wizarding World without controversy these days. In fact, as the years go by, the Harry Potter franchise becomes more and more like Star Wars. If it’s not Johnny Depp’s exit from the Fantastic Beasts series causing a stir, it’s one of JK Rowling’s tweets.
And now, the highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy (2023) has somehow been caught up in the mix. The upcoming open-world role-playing game was recently given the new release date of February 10, 2023, but apparently not all Harry Potter fans are happy about the game.
It seems that Warner Bros. is anticipating a potential boycott of the game, which is based on the franchise created by JK Rowling. As you know, the author has become an extremely controversial figure in recent years, having upset the trans community with her gender politics-related tweets.
Rowling isn’t actually involved with Hogwarts Legacy, though, but she will more than likely benefit financially. Either way, some fans have been allegedly boycotting Hogwarts Legacy online, which could be due to a number of controversies surrounding the game.
While it’s likely that many won’t be buying the game because of JK Rowling, Hogwarts Legacy has also been criticized for having Goblins — an oppressed species — as the main villains. Others have described the portrayal of Goblins in the Wizarding World as “antisemitic”.
Or perhaps this alleged boycott has more to do with the insane $300 price tag for the Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition. Addressing the potential boycott issue after being asked about it in an interview with Axios, Warner Bros. Games head David Haddad had the following to say:
“We’re going to stay very focused on the game that we built and the great job that Avalanche Studios has done. We want everybody that loves this world and loves these stories and loves these characters.”
While there are undoubtedly a number of people who won’t be playing the game due to the JK Rowling controversy, there will be many more who can’t wait to get their hands on it and explore the Wizarding World in its entirety.
But while the Harry Potter franchise continues to be a huge source of revenue for Warner Bros., things aren’t looking so good for the Fantastic Beasts movies, with the latest sequel having pulled in only $405 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, the real-life version of Quidditch (minus the broomsticks, of course) has changed its name, which was reportedly due to distancing itself from JK Rowling, however, this is actually due to copyright reasons.
Recently, Rowling addressed her absence from Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2022), explaining that she chose not to participate (rumors insisted that she was forbidden) as the documentary focused on the Harry Potter movies and not her books.
With that all said, Warner Bros. recently confirmed that they fully support JK Rowling, who very much remains a big part of the Wizarding World franchise. Recently, the world-famous author received death threats in the wake of the shocking Salman Rushdie attack.
Check out the official Hogwarts Legacy trailer below:
As per the official Hogwarts Legacy website, here’s the synopsis for the game:
Hogwarts Legacy is an immersive, open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books. For the first time, experience Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Now you can take control of the action and be at the center of your own adventure in the wizarding world. Your legacy is what you make of it.
The Wikipedia synopsis, however, speaks more to some of the aspects of the gameplay and the characters you’ll encounter:
Hogwarts Legacy is set in the late 1800s and follows a student starting at Hogwarts in their fifth year. The player character, who holds the key to an “ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart”, is capable of manipulating a mysterious ancient magic, and will need to help uncover why this forgotten magic has suddenly made a resurgence and the ones that are simultaneously trying to harness it.
The player is able to interact with characters previously seen within the Wizarding World franchise including Nearly Headless Nick, The Fat Lady, and Peeves. The player character will also be introduced to new characters such as Professor Eleazar Fig, acting as a mentor figure to the protagonist. Antagonists featured in the game include Ranrok, the leader of the Goblin Rebellion, and Victor Rookwood, the leader of a group of Dark Wizards.
Hogwarts Legacy will be released on February 10, 2023, on all major gaming platforms — Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The Nintendo Switch version release date, however, “will be revealed soon” according to Portkey Games.
Will you be purchasing a copy of Hogwarts Legacy? Let us know in the comments down below!