Possibly Warner Bros. Games’ worst kept secret as of late, the upcoming ‘Hogwarts Legacy‘ video game has had many a muggle bewitched by the possibility that a role-playing game based on the beloved Harry Potter franchise is being manifested into reality.
Even though the game was shrouded under an invisibility cloak, ever since Reddit user “VapeThisBro” uploaded leaked trailer footage back in October of 2018, the buzz surrounding this title within both Potter and gaming bubble’s has been steadily boiling over. Since then, speculations, theories, desired concepts, and general news about the upcoming release sprouted from online forums to keep magical folk satiated in the meantime – the most predominant sect being on Reddit’s “r/HarryPotterGame” (soon to be “r/HogwartsLegacy”).
To those uninitiated to the Wizarding World’s tie’s to video games, this is far from being the first Harry Potter video-game; as there have been two whole series of games based on the theatrical adaptations that release concurrently with each film.
Harry’s adventures have been rebuilt in Lego form. He has had his own sports game based on the fictional flying pastime of Quidditch, a host of motion-controlled Kinect and PS3 Move games, and a handful of mobile games. Most notably, the AR Niantic project ‘Wizards Unite‘; a hybrid of Pokémon Go mechanics meets Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
But what promising witches and wizards (myself included) want from a Harry Potter experience is to attend Hogwarts ourselves – we’ve had enough of Harry! It seems to be an obvious demand for those wanting to attend the school of witchcraft and wizardry, as is evident from the dedicated Platform 9¾ brick and mortar shop in Kings Cross Station, the Harry Potter Studios Tour in London, and the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘ Experience in Orlando! Florida… the most magical & British place on Earth!
There’s certainly a market for a Hogwarts RPG. The success of ‘Pottermore’ – an official hub of all things Potter-based, has personality tests that determine your House alignment, your personalised wand, and “Patronus” (essentially your protective spirit animal), and many unofficial virtual role-playing HP themed games are abundant online. And after the luke-warm reception to other post-Potter related properties of the last decade, the franchise has hit a bit of a slump; and fans of the series are hoping that Hogwarts Legacy could be the elixir to revive the magic of the Wizarding World.
Developer studio Avalanche Software is set to helm the Hogwarts RPG, though this won’t be the first media franchise Avalanche has worked on before. Namely handling Pixar and Disney properties such as ‘Toy Story 3’, ‘Cars 2’, and the “Toys-to-Life” project ‘Disney Infinity’ series.
This will be a pivotal change for the developers; having previously produced games catering to a younger audience for the past decade, and outwardly expressing this upcoming venture will be a AAA development title – a first in this company’s history. The scale of the production and choice of intellectual property is solely due to Avalanche being acquired by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment from Disney in 2017 (the last game developed being ‘Cars 3: Drive to Win’ in the same year of acquisition).
It only makes sense (in WB Games’ eyes) that they would give the “portkeys” of a beloved children’s franchise to an adept studio who built its modern enterprise on adapting similar works from the screen to the interactive medium. Albeit, the target demographic that were once kids and young teenagers (those of which who grew up with the books and films during their height of relevancy) are themselves now adults. So it would not only be a huge developmental jump for Avalanche, but quite the tonal shift (if the latest trailer is anything to go by!)
To add more precarious potions into the cauldron, Avalanche have the unenviable task of appeasing a disappointed but dedicated Potter fanbase; due to the latest tangle of controversies that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling keeps weaving herself into – namely her stance on transgender rights and her trans-exclusionary radical feminist ideology.
Avalanche Software have yet to release a statement of their own regarding Rowling’s views. Warner Bros. Games have said in an FAQ that:
“J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game, however, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World.
This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”
Though she may not have been involved with the video-game, she is most definitely receiving royalties from the production.
In an article for Bloomberg, Rowling’s effect within the workplace at Avalanche has left their employees anxious and uncomfortable moving forward with the project, leaving both the developer and fans alike in a moral predicament. A boycott of all Potter-media that directly benefits J.K. Rowling has been in action for many “Potter-heads” and trans-allies since then. Ultimately stranding those who are against supporting her but attached to the wizarding world in an “Immobulus*” charm of sorts.
(*a spell in the Harry Potter books that freezes/immobilises the movement of living or animated targets)
Earlier this year, Avalanche Software were amidst concerns that their parent company WB Games would potentially be put up for sale, which could have jeopardized production had such a deal gone through. AT&T (current owners of WarnerMedia) have since then walked back on their intentions to do so for the time being, but I don’t have to have a natural talent in divination to know that doesn’t bode well for the future.
Judging by how the gaming industry operates currently, it’s a miracle that any video game even gets released. Which makes it all the more impressive how Hogwarts Legacy is nearing the end of completion despite all the setbacks. There is still a lot of pressure for Avalanche to meet fan expectations, but the general consensus is predominantly optimistic; Many fans are feverishly awaiting their letter of acceptance into Hogwarts as anticipation grows. I’m sure we can expect many more owls with more information sometime nearer to the 2021 release date.
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2 thoughts on “Hogwarts Legacy: A History of the Highly Anticipated Harry Potter RPG”
What a NONtroversy these tweets are. She didn’t write anything wrong here, and people shouldn’t care this much either. If you disagree with her, fine. But you can separate artists from products, and if you appreciate the product they created, you pay for the product because it was their intellectual property. People are acting as if Rowling broke the law or committed some serious crime and I can assure you lots of people think exactly as she does – it’s called common sense. People that menstruate ARE WOMEN. Men don’t menstruate. Those who argue against it are the ones living in delusion, if they’re hurt by facts then that’s their problem.
I am looking forward to the game myself, people who work on it want to earn money, and people who want to play it want to get immersed in the world they grew to love.
I’m glad you are looking forward to Hogwarts Legacy as are many others (myself included), and I hope the product is of the quality that the wizarding world deserves!
Just to clarify a few things – Developers (the people who used their talents to produce the game) only get paid for their work before release, and not the profits or sales made from the game (though they should be liable for bonuses – but a lot of publishers tend to only give those out if the game sells well and/or if the aggregate score is high), So the devs will get paid their salary regardless of how many copies are sold or what the reviews may be.
On the topic of “separating the art from the artist”, you can very well enjoy whatever you wish. Let us consider this thought: think about all the media that resonates with you (childhood memories, a deeply personal story, your loved ones’ favourite piece, etc.). In this reality, the creators of your favourite media think that your life is merely a thought experiment and you had no right to exist, maybe even going so far as to actively campaign, complain, or create slander pieces about your existence…
Sounds extreme, but to a lot of people, this isn’t a hypothetical scenario – but a sad reality.
Another thing you mentioned was “People that menstruate are women”, and that (presumably unintentionally) erases the existence of cis-women who cannot menstruate for a multitude of reasons, and that statement also includes cis-girls before puberty and cis-women at menopause.
Now I’m fully aware that you didn’t mean that these women don’t exist, but here in lies the question… what do you actually mean to say, and do you understand the power of speech? (this is a rhetorical question).
A great tool for grounding oneself is to consider that you are the one living in delusion and if done right will benefit you immensely by gaining perspective beyond your own.
If any of these facts hurt peoples feelings, I sincerely hope they remedy it with some introspection and self-reflection.