After Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has double and tripled down on showing her transphobic ass online, questions have been brought up about the long-rumored but only recently-announced Hogwarts Legacy, the RPG based in the Harry Potter universe in development over at Avalanche Software.
When the game was officially unveiled during Sony’s PlayStation 5 presentation last month, Warner Bros. explained in an FAQ that Rowling had not had much direct involvement with the game’s development. While it will take place in the universe she created, Hogwarts Legacy is “not a new story from J.K. Rowling.” However, as many have pointed out, Rowling will still be getting royalties from the game’s sales, thus buying it will still benefit her financially. With all the stink already attached to Hogwarts Legacy, Warner Bros. Games President David Haddad acknowledged questions about condemning Rowling’s views ahead of launch at a recent company Q&A. His answer was less than satisfactory.
In a transcription posted by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier on Twitter, Haddad basically said that Rowling was allowed to believe what she wanted and express it however she saw fit. It doesn’t matter if it goes against Warner Bros. own values, there would be no disavowing of a frequent collaborator and money machine’s shitty views from him on this day.
Not a lot I can comment on, other than, since we did get so many [questions], I wanted to be responsive the best way I could.
The way I think I’d like to do it is, I’d like to echo something you’ve heard from our most senior executive leadership.
While JK Rowling is the creator of Harry Potter, and we are bringing that to life with the power of Portkey, in many places, she’s a private citizen also. And that means she’s entitled to express her personal opinion on social media. I may not agree with her, and I might not agree with her stance on a range of topics, but I can agree that she has the right to hold her opinions.
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Back in June, there were reports that the morale over at Avalanche Software had taken a major blow after Rowling going mask off on transphobia, and she’s only gotten worse in the months since then. Now that the game is actually a real thing in the world, and is at the center of a conversation about who you’re supporting with a purchase, I can’t imagine morale has gotten any better for those developers who have been working on the game for years and didn’t know what the state of the Harry Potter name would be in 2020. This is likely not helped by Warner Bros. inability to actively condemn Rowling’s bullshit.
Prior to Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche Software has been known for its work on the Disney Infinity franchise.