J.K. Rowling's involvement with Hogwarts Legacy and why the internet is divided over it
The official website of Hogwarts Legacy has explicitly mentioned that the author of the IP is not directly involved in the development of the title. However, fans have been concerned about what engaging with the title means in the long run.
J.K. Rowling's controversial comments on her platform have led many ardent fans to turn away from their beloved franchise.
The issue among the players springs from a desire to explore the world of Hogwarts Legacy but an unwillingness to engage with the author's views or provide a further platform to propagate said views. For some, her opinions have strictly meant that they will not engage with her work, while others wish to separate art from the artist.
Why fans are divided over playing Hogwarts Legacy
The issue with Harry Potter began when J.K. Rowling's transphobic stance became clear after a tweet in support of Maya Forstater in 2019, who had lost her job due to her views regarding biological s*x.
Her tweet was met with a number of shocked and disheartened fans who viewed the wizarding world as one of love, inclusivity, and diversity.
Although some of the responses under the tweet believed that Rowling was right in what she said, the majority found themselves unprepared for her opinion and her stance. Irrespective of the comments, this tweet opened up a barrage of criticism that headed towards Rowling and her IP.
Later, in 2020, Rowling released an essay containing her views on the matter, titled "J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues," which effectively set her views regarding the matter in stone. Since then, her social media engagements have showcased similar thoughts.
Now coming to Hogwarts Legacy, fans are worried that engaging with the game would not only provide Rowling with financial profit but also give her cultural capital. To them, doing so further allows the author to propagate her controversial views.
Those who wish to play Hogwarts Legacy have mentioned that the world of Harry Potter was a loving part of their childhood and wishing to engage in it does not necessarily mean they support the author's stance. They intend to look at art separate from the artist, as for them Potterverse is much bigger than Rowling now.
Their reason for playing the game also stems from their wish to support the developers. The dedicated State of Play in March showed the beautiful world of Hogwarts Legacy that has wholeheartedly captured the imagination of the Potterheads who had been waiting for such a game for the longest time.
WB Games Avalanche's statement on the matter is on the official website of the game. It goes:
"Each experience offered under Portkey Games will take place in the wizarding world and will be authentic to it. J.K. Rowling is supportive of Portkey Games and has entrusted the design and creation of the games to Warner Bros. Games and the developers involved."
"Her team has also collaborated with Warner Bros. Games on all aspects of Hogwarts Legacy to ensure it remains a true part of the Wizarding World experience and is in line with the creativity and magic that fans expect."
Many players have already made up their minds about the title, whereas others further engage in such debates on the topic across various platforms. Given the sensitivity of the issue and what it entails, this is not something that can reach a quick resolution. One can only hope that it will not breakdown further.