"I warned you": Community reacts as the controversy surrounding Hogwarts Legacy and Rowling continues

The world of Hogwarts Legacy (Image via Sportskeeda)
The world of Hogwarts Legacy (Image via Sportskeeda)

Since its announcement in 2020, discussions regarding Hogwarts Legacy have been fraught with controversy that was kickstarted by J.K. Rowling's problematic transphobic stance.

The author's opinions have alienated many fans who have grown up with the stories of Harry Potter. It has also made people apprehensive of engaging with the Potterverse.

Similar reactions came when Hogwarts Legacy was announced and, furthermore, when the gameplay reveal was shown at the March State of Play. Many, including forums, have refused to engage with the title, with players discussing whether they should or should not play the game.

Hogwarts Legacy is mired in the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling

@notCursedE post on Twitter showcases the need to be aware of the legacy of transphobia that surrounds the wizarding RPG. The opinion shared by the author and her protracted defense of such stance attacks the identity of one of society's most vulnerable communities.

For many players, engaging in Hogwarts Legacy not only provides Rowling with financial profits but also with cultural capital and relevancy that allows her to propagate her views further. This further has problematized associations with anything related to Harry Potter in recent years.

A reply under the parent tweet also showcases another major issue that has sometimes cropped up regarding the world of Harry Potter. The representation of goblins has been one that many have found to range from merely lacking to being outright derogatory.

In Hogwarts Legacy, the game's central conflict revolves around an impending goblin rebellion that threatens the peace of the wizarding world. The treatment of goblins by wizards has always been a point of contention, for example, the ban on using wands. Some have also found goblins in the wizarding world akin to Jewish caricatures from an antisemitic text.

However, those who wish to play Hogwarts Legacy have repeatedly pointed out that they want to do so even though they are against Rowling's stance. Instead, they want to support the developers who have put in years to make the title and step into a world they have fond memories of.

For them, the world and the stories of Harry Potter are now bigger than Rowling. They contend that one must try to view the art separately from the artist. Some even found a tinge of hypocrisy in the outcry.

A comment on the game (Image via thatoldgamerguy, Twitter)
A comment on the game (Image via thatoldgamerguy, Twitter)

Speaking of J.K. Rowling's involvement with the development of the title, the official website states:

"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."

It also states:

"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."

Whichever side one is situated on the matter, it is of paramount importance to be, at the very least, aware of the issues being raised irrespective of their choice to play the game or not.

The consequences of the author's statement are far-reaching. Turning a blind eye to them merely because this is a game must not be an option everyone is okay with.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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