Hogwarts Legacy game director addresses criticism – but fails to mention JK Rowling’s trans views
Hogwarts Legacy’s director has responded to criticism by LGBTQ+ activists planning to boycott the game.
Avalanche Software game director Alan Tew said in a 26 January interview with IGN that the development team for the upcoming Harry Potter title want fans to feel “welcomed back” to the series.
His comments come amid rising backlash from LGBTQ+ activists who argue that the game further supports author JK Rowling, who is routinely criticised for her views on trans people.
Several aspects of the game itself have also been condemned, including its story, which some have claimed is antisemitic.
While he didn’t mention Rowling, Tew addressed the concerns, saying that the project aims to be something all fans can enjoy.
“There are challenges in every game we’ve worked on,” he said. “This game has been no different.
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“When we bumped into those challenges, we went back and refocused on the stuff that we really care about.”
Hogwarts Legacy immediately became a divisive topic upon its announcement in 2020 and has been steadily growing in controversy since.
In February 2022, it was revealed that then-lead designer Troy Leavitt previously ran a far-right, anti-feminist YouTube channel.
Several of the videos were targeted at feminist activists, including Anita Sarkeesian, and perpetuated harmful stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community.
Leavitt left the company in March 2022, despite saying he felt “absolutely secure” in his position.
Avalanche Software – who previously worked on the Disney Infinity series – has attempted to rebuild bridges with the trans community by announcing that Rowling would have little creative control over the project.
Additionally, it was revealed in March 2021 by journalist Jason Schreier that the game would allow players to create trans characters.
According to Schreier, the mechanic was added following pressure by “some members” of the team who had been “pushing hard for this”.
Tew appeared to echo the inclusive wishes of developers. “We know our fans fell in love with the wizarding world, and we believe they fell in love with it for the right reasons,” he said.
“For us, it’s making sure that the audience, who always dreamed of having this game, had the opportunity to feel welcomed back, that they have a home here and that it’s a good place to tell their story.”
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