The Harry Potter franchise is no longer as beloved today as it once was. This is mostly due to the series' author J.K Rowling ruffling a lot of feathers for what some have called transphobic statements on Twitter, that caused outrage within the LGBTQ+ community. Because of this, all media related to the books has been put under the microscope.
It doesn't matter what kind of media it is. It can be the Fantastic Beasts movies or, most recently, the Hogwarts Legacy open-world RPG.
The latter is especially surprising considering that the developers explicitly claimed, on the game's official website, that "J.K Rowling is no directly involved in the creation of the game" and that the game will not feature a "new story from J.K Rowling".
What’s the Controversy Surrounding Hogwarts Legacy?
All the controversy regarding Hogwarts Legacy started with Troy Leavitt.
Troy Leavitt is the game's lead designer. He also has a YouTube channel where fans found that he had made pro-Gamergate statements in many of his past videos.
Just to refresh your memory, the Gamergate movement and resulting controversy started way back in 2014. The campaign was the result of many prominent women within the gaming industry, like Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn, and Anita Sarkeesian, finding themselves being the victim of sexual harassment and sexism.
Following this, ResetEra made the decision to ban any and all promotional media related to Hogwarts Legacy in an attempt to prevent drawing even more attention and making the situation worse than it already is.
As controversial as the game is already is though, it seems that there's one good news that resulted from it.
From the Darkness Comes the Light
In an article for Bloomberg News, famed video game author and journalist Jason Schreier claims that Hogwarts Legacy might include transgender-inclusive options in its character creation menu. He detailed that players could potentially customize everything from the voice, body type, and even the gender placement of their characters.
He claims that this information comes directly from one of the game's developers who requested that he remained anonymous, for now.
To further expound on this, players will reportedly be able to choose between being a wizard or a witch and how they want other characters in Hogwarts Legacy to address their customized avatars. He claims that the development team is working hard to "make the game as inclusive as possible", which is probably the right move considering the current climate.
Unfortunately, while the source is credible, we have no official word yet from Warner Bros. Interactive if this is indeed true.
Either way, we are hoping that it is. Hogwarts Legacy is already under fire and it hasn't even been released yet. Not to mention, the game's already been pushed back and delayed to 2022, albeit it's not exactly alone in that regard.
Luckily, the development team has numerous games that are already out right now and that it can learn from. This includes Marvel's Avengers, as far as making sure that there are enough end-game content and variety in the game, as well as Cyberpunk 2077, which, despite its controversy, lets players play any gender they would like.
Hogwarts Legacy is currently in development with Avalanche Software at the helm. It's scheduled for a 2022 release date and will be available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and the PC.