Hogwarts Legacy has been forever entangled in the controversy stemming from Rowling and her seemingly transphobic opinions. Ever since the reveal trailer dropped in 2020, players have been discussing whether they should engage with the upcoming Wizarding World RPG or not.
The famed author's opinions have alienated a large number of fans who once found respite and solace in the cherished world of Harry Potter. Expectedly so, her stance has made association with titles based on the Potterverse a prickly affair.
Will Rowling's involvement with the project affect how Hogwarts Legacy does once it releases?
@Circle_Studios' tweet shows a general concern among fans of the world of Harry Potter. They fear that Rowling's protracted defense of her opinions on the matter of trans issues adversely affects the well-doing of the titles under Harry Potter's portfolio.
Once J. K. Rowling's transphobic stance became apparent, people were shocked. For them, the world of Harry Potter and its stories reflected a sense of love, diversity and acceptance. As one commented, it taught them to step out of the closet as nobody deserved to live in it.
The harming nature of Rowling's comments has been noted by many. This has resulted in multiple actors from the franchise voicing their opinions on the matter and where they stand. Writing on The Trevor Project's website, Daniel Redcliffe exclaimed:
“Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Rupert Grint stated:
"I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”
Justifiably so, such concerns have spilled over among the discussions regarding Hogwarts Legacy. The initial reveal trailer was launched merely three months after Rowling shared an explanation of her views. The backlash ensued swiftly and players were unsure if they should at all play the game when it finally arrives.
These conversations have only increased with the release of the gameplay reveal at the March State of Play. Many have pointed out that engaging with the title will not only give Rowling a financial profit but also allow her cultural capital and a stage to propagate her harmful views.
Hogwarts Legacy further found itself in hot waters earlier last year. The lead designer of the project was found to have stated Gamergate sympathies.
Regarding Rowling's involvement with the game, the official website of Hogwarts mentions the following:
"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 have 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. The story showcased in the game is not a new story from J.K. Rowling."
On the other hand, many fans have stated their intention to play Hogwarts Legacy in order to support the hard work done by the developers, even though they do not agree with Rowling's statements. For them, the world of Harry Potter has become much bigger than the author and her opinions.
One would merely hope that the ensuing Rowling controversy would not affect the title severely when it releases later during the Holiday period of 2022.