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In an unprecedented move, major video game forum ResetEra has decided to enforce a "total ban on threads for promotional media" involving the upcoming Harry Potter RPG Hogwarts Legacy.
This decision comes partly because of JK Rowling's transphobic views, but also in light of the recent discovery that Hogwarts Legacy lead designer is a pro-Gamergate YouTuber. As reported over the weekend, the RPG's lead designer Troy Leavitt once maintained a YouTube channel with distinct support for Gamergate, a movement that claimed to be about ethics in journalism, but was essentially an excuse to abuse women.
In an announcement on ResetEra, site admins explained that this is a "uniquely awful situation where both the creator of the IP and a senior producer on the game have unrepentant bigoted views". They go on to explain this ban means there will be no threads for trailers or announcements, nor will be there be any kind of pieces shared that hype up the game or its features.
"This is the first time we've done something like this and we consider this a very exceptional case," the admins wrote. "It's not just one bigoted game designer that made the difference here. JK Rowling's singular reach and influence, how closely that influence is tied to the Harry Potter IP, and what she chooses to do with that power, is a unique problem on top of this latest controversy.
"We're going to revisit whether to have an OT much closer to the game's release. Learning from what happened with Cyberpunk, if there is an OT, it will have a text-only OP created by staff that lays out the controversy with the game and IP. The main reason to have an OT at all is the same one we've articulated before: Some minority members want a space to discuss the game's contents where they will not be shouted down by bigots."
The move has been widely commended by ResetEra users who believe the admins have made the right call. Neither publisher Warner Bros. nor developer Avalanche has commented on Leavitt's views at the time of writing, although Warner Bros. Games president David Haddad did say last year that J.K had the "right to her opinions", so we can pretty much guess what the studio stance on Leavitt is.
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