The Harry Potter themed game ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ has become one of the fastest selling video games of all time, despite many claiming they would boycott its release due to JK Rowling’s transviews.
According to figures from maker Warner Bros. Games, the popular video game earned a total of $850 million in revenue from 12 million sales. This makes the Hogwarts game one of the fastest-selling games of all time and the most lucrative launch ever for the media empire Warner Bros. Discovery.
Even before its release, “Hogwarts Legacy” provoked strong opinions online as the creator of the Wizarding World faced accusations of transphobia for emphasizing biological sex over gender identity.
Many trans rights activists called for a boycott of the game, as Rowling would likely receive royalties as the creator of the magical universe.
The author of the Harry Potter series has not created any characters from “Hogwarts Legacy” or the storyline, but she remains the intellectual property owner of the Wizarding World franchise.
Many trans rights activists called for a boycott of the game, as Rowling would likely receive royalties as the creator of the magical universe. Pictured: JK Rowling attends the premiere of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ at the Royal Festival Hall, London, March 29, 2022
Warner Bros. made the decision to include a trans witch in the storyline. Sirona Ryan is a bartender at the Three Broomsticks pub
‘Hogwarts Legacy’ generated a total of $850 million in revenue with 12 million sales in two weeks
Developed by Avalanche Software and edited by Warner Bros’ Portkey Games, the game allows players to virtually explore the Harry Potter universe as a student who attended the iconic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 19th century.
The open-world format allows characters to freely roam the magical castle, attend wizarding classes, and cast spells as they compete in quests.
Prior to the release of the popular game, Warner Bros. and Portkey to distance themselves from the Rowling controversy.
A message was posted on the game’s website that explicitly stated that Rowling was not involved in the making of the game.
JK Rowling is not involved in the making of the game. “While staying true to JK Rowling’s original vision, Portkey game developers are charting new territory by creating new ways for fans to immerse themselves in the Wizarding World.”
Warner Bros. even made the decision to include a trans witch in the storyline.
The game’s director, Alan Tew, previously told IGN, “We know it’s a diverse audience. For us, it’s about making sure that the audience that has always dreamed of having this game has a chance to feel welcome again.”
But many trans activists still called off the release because royalties were likely to end up in Rowling’s pocket.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter wizarding world has been embroiled in controversy over her transgender stance. Pictured: Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ (2003)
JK Rowling presents her novel ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ which goes on sale July 20, 2007
Jessie Earl, a trans YouTuber, who has 210,000 subscribers, called for a boycott of the game, saying that “any support for something like Hogwarts Legacy is harmful.”
Rowling accused the YouTuber of “purethink” when she tweeted a response, saying, “The truly righteous would not only burn their books and movies, but also the local library, anything with an owl on it and their own dogs.”
Twitch streamer Will Overgard also pushed for a boycott, insisting “by endorsing the title you’re essentially aligning yourself with some really horrific transphobic values.”
Percy Ranson, a reviewer for GamesHub who identifies as transgender, wrote: “If you buy this game – if you praise its qualities and encourage others to ‘support the developers’ or ‘treat yourself to a guilty pleasure’ – you make a choice that hurts the transgender community, whether you want to admit it or not
In addition to huge sales, and despite the controversy, the game received rave reviews.
Metacritic awarded the wizard game a score of 85 out of 100, as an amalgamation of the opinions of 60 different video game critics.
IGN also gave the title nine out of ten, saying the video game “definitely captures the atmosphere of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” and calling the adventure sequences “stunningly good”, though taking away a point for plot holes and graphical glitches .
And despite the decades of universe background material to draw from, the site Gaming Age said the game is “not only bathed in the reflected warm glow of nostalgia,” but also offers new contributions.
However, the site Digital Trends gave “Hogwarts Legacy” 2.5 stars out of five, making it a “cold and clinical” venture with a design that “lacks imagination.”