The world of Hogwarts Legacy (Image via Avalanche)

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.

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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.

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Her tweet was met with a number of shocked and disheartened fans who viewed the wizarding world as one of love, inclusivity, and diversity.

Rowling's stance (Image via jk_rowling, Twitter)

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.

@jk_rowling My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee.

The world’s most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up.
6:47 AM · Dec 19, 2019
@jk_rowling What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?
2:32 AM · Dec 20, 2019
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@jk_rowling When you have a big voice, and you have a VERY big one. You should always be conscious to not spread statements that could result in judgment, hatred, or simple lack of acceptance. We lost many #trans friends this year to suicide and violence. Trans women ARE women. #chooselove
7:05 AM · Dec 20, 2019

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.

yes, streaming hogwarts legacy will empower jk rowling. yes, even if you fundraise while doing it. you're platforming the intellectual property of harry potter, which is where jkr gets her cultural capital. if you denounce jkr, please be consistent and don't promote her stuff.
1:25 AM · Mar 15, 2022
@breadwitchery I look at it this way. Our adult values, morals & sensibilities are wiser than our younger selves because of new knowledge & experiences. During moments like this, it's 'adult' me that makes the decisions. My inner child would have streamed it, but now as an ally, I won't.
5:49 AM · Mar 15, 2022
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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.

A comment on the game (Image via HesMiniscule/Twitter)
This has been my most popular tweet ever aparently. Had a ton of discussions under it today. I'm surprised. I'm Changing who can reply now so ppl can calm down. I support trans people, and I will be buying this game day one, it's so much bigger than JK at this point.
5:11 AM · Mar 20, 2022
@HesMiniscule I won't judge people for wanting to play it. I think Rowing is a POS for delegitimizing trans folks, but I understand the initial impact the books had. I was one of them and I was with every release of each book. It's a happy place and she can't taint it.
8:24 AM · Mar 19, 2022
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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.

@breadwitchery I couldn't care less about what an old woman writes on Twitter even if she created this universe, I will just be enjoying what hard-working developers have made. And I won't feel guilty beacuse of my enjoyment.
6:47 AM · Mar 16, 2022

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."

Further continuing:

"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."
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@angman_dutt Not much of a debate anymore. Mostly insult trading. I think the majority has already made their decision, but it be what it be.
4:00 AM · Apr 5, 2022

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.

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Edited by
Abu Amjad Khan
 
 
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