Gamers spend 247 million hours playing Hogwarts Legacy despite LGBTQ+ backlash

Hogwarts Legacy

Controversial video game Hogwarts Legacy, has proved a massive hit despite the backlash from LGBTQ+ gamers.

Statistics from Warner Bros. Games, provided to entertainment industry magazine Variety, show players have spent 267 million hours playing the game since its release on 10 February 2023.

There are a number of contentious issues surrounding the game, the foremost being the ongoing arguments around JK Rowling’s opinions of the trans community.

The game itself also came under the spotlight due its inclusion of a trans character, as well as the Russian version of the game seeing the removal of any LGBTQ+ dialogue.

In a statement to Variety, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president, David Haddad, said “player engagement is spectacular” and the company was “very pleased with the initial launch and sees a bright future for our other platform launches”.

Rowling was not directly involved in the development of the game but will earn royalties from it, according to various reports.

You may like to watch

The inclusion of a trans character within the game’s storyline and gamers being able to create trans characters was announced long before the game’s release but many fans felt it was too little, too late.

Sirona Ryan, Hogwarts Legacy
Sirona Ryan is the first trans character in the Harry Potter franchise. 9Sources: Warner Bros Games / Getty images)

Shortly before the game’s release, some trans gamers told PinkNews adding trans characters felt “insincere” and was done to “shut trans people up”. One researcher was reportedly told by a developer that the character was “performative bulls**t”.

In the months following Rowling’s June 2020 criticism of gender-inclusive language, the game’s bosses distanced themselves and Hogwarts Legacy itself from the Harry Potter author.

But, according to a video seen by a Bloomberg journalist, David Haddad said Rowling was “a private citizen” who was “entitled to express her opinion on social media”.

He’s alleged to have added: “I may not agree with her, and I might not agree with her stance on a range of topics, but I can agree she has the right to hold her opinions.”

The link to Rowling-related controversies even resulted in voice cast member Sebastian Croft having to address a backlash directed towards him.

After his role was announced in January, the 21-year-old Heartstopper actor tweeted he had been cast in the project long before he was aware of Rowling’s views.

“I was cast in this project [more than] three years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical work I grew up with,” he wrote.

“I believe whole-heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.