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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has stated that it is working with LGBTQ rights organisations in the development of Hogwarts Legacy.
Revealed in Sony's September showcase, the game is set in the 19th century, and players will explore the halls and grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in an expansive open world. "Expect Hogwarts Legacy to be filled with all kinds of immersive magic, while your student-character will learn spells, brew potions, tame fantastic beasts, select companions to help them fight off deadly enemies," announced the Wizarding World team.
The game also has classic RPG elements as players pick their House, develop their magical abilities, and leave their mark on the world over the course of a "detailed, mysterious story." Though this is exceptionally exciting for Harry Potter fans, the enthusiasm for Hogwarts Legacy has been marred by author J.K Rowling's emphatic and repeated transphobia.
Rowling apparently has had minor involvement in the development of the project, but Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment hasn't quite distanced itself from her comments. Company president David Haddad said that "she has the right to hold her opinions," which is fair enough if the opinions are innocuous and aren't an unfounded attack on another person's identity. For example, "Marmite is delicious," or "iced coffee is a scam."
Later in the Q&A, Haddad answered a question about diversity/inclusion by adding that WB Games is working with LGBTQ rights orgs and that he spent an hour and a half talking to the director of trans media representation at GLAAD. No mention of Rowling or Harry Potter there
- Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 30, 2020
As a result, the developer and publisher's stance might have been the deciding factor for those fans who were interested in Hogwarts Legacy, but didn't want to further Rowling's power and platforms. However, in the same Q&A session, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment did state that the team is consulting LGBTQ rights groups for input on the game's diversity and inclusion. Moreover, Haddad has had a lengthy conversation with Nick Adams, director of transgender media representation at GLAAD, about Hogwarts Legacy.
For Rowling's critics, this is a cheering admission. Not a lot was mentioned about the outcomes of these conversations in the Q&A session, but it's a good place to start for any game that wishes to represent people from all walks of life authentically. In addition, Adams has previously praised Tell Me Why, the new narrative game from the developer of Life is Strange, for "[raising] the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming."
It is hoped that Avalanche Software and Warner Bros. continues its active engagement, by learning and listening to those in these focus groups, and that Hogwarts Legacy is the fantastical adventure that so many fans want it to be.
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.
Topics: Hogwarts Legacy
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