Hogwarts Legacy is one of the most anticipated titles of the last three years, seeing as it’s a Harry Potter’s Open World game. The game will be an RPG title and with Avalanche Studios as its developer. However, there have been some special complications that delay the release of the game.
Backdrop to Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy originally takes place in 1800 where the player takes on the character of a Hogwarts student. According to the official page of the game, your character holds the key to an ancient secret. Which of course threatens to dismantle the magical world. Upon receiving a belated invitation to Hogwarts, the student realizes that he is not just any ordinary student. It is worth mentioning that we will not see Dumbledore, the Harry Potter cast comes later in the canon.
J.K. Rowling is not directly related to its development. This is in contrast to the Harry Potter movies or any other H.P. projects. The H.P. universe lives close to the hearts of many fans, and it’s important they get it right. This is one of the reasons why the game is getting a delay.
A wizard is never late
Some fans of the series were offended after some comments of Rowling about the trans community. Her attitude made some fans doubt their support of Rowling’s endeavours. Even going so far as questioning whether they can enjoy the content of the magical world which she has created. Could it perhaps be done without supporting the author? Rowling is considered to regularly mock and comment controversially on the trans community. However, this event is the smallest reason that contributes to the delay of the game.
Enter a Twitter post by Liam Roberston featuring Lead Designer Troy Levitt. In this tweet, Roberston reveals that the Lead Designer’s YouTube channel is littered with old videos, considered to be far-right in content. These include defence commentary on men accused of sexual harassment, and even calling the #MeToo movement a ‘moral panic’. Levitt also said that many will consider him a ‘rape apologist’ for these commentaries. Even clarifying that him ‘being a white man will result in automatically being associated as part of the problem’.
In general, the development of such ideologies is difficult to put a positive outlook on, especially for an up-and-coming game that expresses the imaginary world. It certainly doesn’t help then that he is the lead developer. Just because the videos are older does not mean they do not affect Levitt. Finally, Levitt voluntarily resigned from the position of Lead Designer after all the uproar that prevailed. Stressing that he would comment on the event in a video on his personal account on YouTube.
Controversy, but it is still Hogwarts
Warner Bros’s commentary was also controversial because initially, in Levitt videos, he states that a Warner member was aware of these Levitt ideologies. There was also no immediate response from Warner, probably because in Levitt’s videos it is stated that Warner does not embrace the specific beliefs. In 2018, it was also clarified that Rowling is not directly connected to the project, especially after its relationship with the trans community. Specifically, Levitt’s comment that targeted the company was: “at least they care more about making good games than taking on the role of a social hero, so there is hope.”
In an earlier comment, Warner says it always worked without exclusions and that this is always important to the company. They also state that Warner appreciates the work of artists who provide it with parts of themselves. At the same time, they acknowledge the company’s responsibility to understand and include all communities that reach the content they promote.
Both the content and the feel of the game is something that audiences (especially the fans) will surely love in Hogwarts Legacy. Nevertheless, negative ideologies have a chance of seeping through if the man in charge adheres to them. After the social outrage at Levitt, it seems the smart move was indeed to step aside.
This may still affect the success of the game. After all, the game was going to be released in mid to late ’21, but it looks like it will be released in early 2022 now instead.
If you need a completely different world filled with magic to bridge that gap, check out our Werewolf The Apocalypse review here.