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Why is Hogwarts Legacy, a Harry Potter video game, so controversial?

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hogwarts legacy, It should have been pure wish fulfillment for the millions of fans who have been enthralled by the lore of the Harry Potter world over the past 25 years. In the video game, launching next week, players will live a life of mystery and adventure that comes with being a student at pop culture’s pioneering school of witchcraft and sorcery.

Even then, hogwarts legacy And for reasons outside the story or context of the Harry Potter franchise video games annoys many fans. Why so? Now we’ll go behind the scenes of the Wizarding World to explain this controversy.

What is the Hogwarts Legacy?

First announced at PlayStation’s State of Play event in September 2020, hogwarts legacy is an open-world, action-RPG adventure in which the player enrolls in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The player-character is user-generated; However, he is a fifth year student, so he will start the game with some advanced magical abilities.

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JK Rowling wears a navy blue evening gown with a sheer cape at the red carpet event for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

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JK Rowling at the world premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore In London, March 2022.
Photo: Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images

Why is this game controversial?

Author and series creator JK Rowling has chosen to hold back about gender identity in 2018, largely because of the public stance she has taken. His ideas came full circle in the summer of 2020. At the time, Scotland (Rowling hailing from Edinburgh, writing most of the Harry Potter series there) was considering changing its laws to allow individuals to change the gender assigned on their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis. Could

After a few years of shy social media gestures and answers on the subject, on June 10, 2020, Rowling published a confrontational 3,600-word essay on her personal website, detailing her views on gender identity, transgender-inclusive laws their doubts and policies, and “the new trans activism.” Rowling invoked her own existence of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as raised a discredited fiction about male sexual predators, in restrooms for girls and women as long as they identify as one. are allowed to stay.

Since the June 2020 editorial, Rowling has continued to engage with the topic of transgender identity from the same perspective. his crime novel troubled bloodPublished in 2020 under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith, tells the story of a serial killer who dresses as a woman when he commits his murders. LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations condemned this and Rowling’s other writings that minimize the harm and discrimination of transgender individuals, although some of Rowling’s celebrity allies publicly came to her defense.

An owl sitting on a suitcase cart at Hogwarts Legacy

Image: Avalanche Software / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Is JK Rowling Developing The Hogwarts Legacy?

Allegedly not. just after hogwarts legacyRevealed worldwide in September 2020, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment posted an FAQ that distanced the project from Rowling. hogwarts legacy WBIE said, “There is no new story from JK Rowling,” and that Rowling was “not directly involved in the creation of the game.” Obviously, though, it’s built on the Harry Potter canon and concepts that Rowling has developed since the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Was Published in 1997.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Launches Its Utah-Based Studio, Avalanche Software Hogwarts Legacy. WBIE acquired Avalanche in 2017, the same year Warner Bros. established the Portkey Games publishing label, which oversees WB’s licensing of the Harry Potter works.

Having said all that, Rowling inevitably profits from publishing and selling hogwarts legacy, whether in the form of royalties, a specific payment for adapting this work, an ongoing contract with Warner Bros., or simply publicity and attention to his work. Warner Bros. obtained a license for Rowling’s “Wizarding World” franchise in 1997, and has since used it to produce and distribute 11 films (eight Harry Potter novel adaptations, three in the Fantastic Beasts storyline).

Does anything in Hogwarts Legacy reflect JK Rowling’s views?

Probably not, although widespread criticisms of the Harry Potter canon present it as patriarchal and regressive compared to the views of modern society. Noteworthy, hogwarts legacyThe character-creation options will allow players voice, clothing, and body shape choices that are not related or intertwined with other gender presentation. In 2021, Bloomberg reports that development is on hogwarts legacy Rowling’s anti-transgender statements and public positions had begun before, and the avalanche of fan anger to deal with them left many developers “saddened and disappointed” in the aftermath.

since hogwarts legacy‘S After the announcement, Avalanche Games and WBIE became aware of the controversy created by Rowling and were quick to disassociate it from the game. Six months after the game was announced, lead designer Troy Levitt left Avalanche Software after came to light that he had far-right views, which included support for the Gamergate online hate campaign.

How does JK Rowling react to fan criticism?

Rowling has not only seen a reaction to her work in general, but hogwarts legacy Specifically, and he still engages with it whether criticism is addressed to him or not. For example:

To which Rowling replied:

Additionally, Rowling had a year earlier held a public “War of the Genders” luncheon for like-minded women—dubbed TERFs (for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”) by her critics. His opinion was also cited when US Senate Republicans blocked the passage of an LGBTQ equality rights bill in 2022.

So it is not a case of ignoring a creator or tacitly accepting his critics. Although hogwarts legacy Developed separately, Rowling regards it as an extension of her own work. And that’s why many people have second thoughts about participating.

hogwarts legacy Launches February 10 for PlayStation 5, Windows PC and Xbox Series X; April 4 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; and July 25 for Nintendo Switch.

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