New Entry In ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise Breaks Record Amid Boycott and Controversy

in Harry Potter

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe as a shocked Harry, Ron and Hermione

Credit: Warner Bros.

There’s been no small stir about the new Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy (2023).

Hogwarts Legacy Harry Potter game student getting Sorted
Credit: Warner Bros.

A revolutionary entry into the world of modern literature, Harry Potter caused a renaissance of reading for children and adults alike in the 90s and early 2000s. For a time, it was difficult to find someone who hadn’t read or at least heard of the books. Then the movies hit the scene, and the character and the world surrounding him found even greater cultural prominence, but, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: First Trans ‘Harry Potter’ Character Is Insulting, Offensive Attempt at Representation

In a series of now-infamous tweets, author and creator JK Rowling took a firm anti-trans stance, alienating an entire community of trans fans and trans supporters. The author’s stance hasn’t changed, leading to further boycotts of Harry Potter material, films, and now, the new game, Hogwarts Legacy, soon to be released on a wide scale for PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.

Hogwarts castle in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros. (via Hogwarts Legacy YouTube)

Likely in development before Rowling’s inflammatory statements, the game offered fans its first sneak peek in 2020, the same year that Rowling made her first insensitive and infamous tweet. There were obviously many factors in Warner Bros Games and Portkey Games choosing to move forward with the project: by the time a game puts out a sneak peek like that, tons of development has already gone into it, and though the fanbase has been divided, there was still enough interest they felt they could still turn a profit.

Owl in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros. (via Hogwarts Legacy YouTube)

This seemed in doubt in the weeks leading up to the game’s release. Many groups were very vocal about boycotting the franchise and making their voices heard in the face of developers who seemed deaf to protest. To that end, an effort, which has since been deemed pandering and insulting, was made, including the first-ever trans character in the Harry Potter universe. All of these controversies made it seem like the game would be an abject failure.

Hogwarts Legacy Harry Potter game Sirona Ryans at the Three Broomsticks
Credit: Warner Bros.

This has not been the case, at least not yet. According to a recent tweet from Okami Games, reported by ComicbookHogwarts Legacy has already broken a huge gaming record. The tweet indicated that the new Harry Potter game broke the all-time record for a single-player game on Twitch, with 1.2 million concurrent viewers. This is even more shocking given that the game hasn’t been widely released yet, and at the time of the record-breaking, it has only been released through early access.

The Wand shop in Hogwarts Legacy
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Could the New ‘Harry Potter’ Installment Still Fail, Despite Positive Early Reviews?

Comicbook also mentions that, while still early in 2023, the game has a strong chance of being one of the top performers of the year. Whether this pans out or not remains to be seen, but the controversy surrounding the franchise will most assuredly continue. It does beg the question, what does the future hold for the Wizarding World and the Harry Potter franchise? At this point, no one can really say, especially in the world of entertainment, which, more than most industries, is dictated by demand of the fans.

What, if anything, can be done to appease fans of the franchise? Let us know in the comments below!

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