Hogwarts Legacy, the incredibly maligned Harry Potter title coming from Portkey Games and Avalanche Software, is making its character creator “trans-inclusive,” according to reporting from Bloomberg.
Hogwarts Legacy will supposedly “allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type and gender placement for the school dormitories,” in an attempt to combat the sludge that Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling has heaped onto the property with her transphobia. The team seems to have actively pursued making character creation as inclusive as possible in response to these controversies. The character creator looks to avoid locking you into any choice, especially based on gender. Players will be able to give their character a masculine or feminine voice regardless of their body type, and will pick whether to be addressed as “witch” or “wizard” at the start of the game rather than select between “male” or “female.”
Alongside a more inclusive character creator, developers have purportedly pushed for the inclusion of a trans character, though management seems to have shown “resistance” about both introductions. As it stands, the character creator seems to be in the game, but there’s no word on the inclusion of a trans character.
Hogwarts Legacy has already been the center of a number of controversies and the game isn’t even out for another year. First, it was announced against the backdrop of J.K Rowling’s latest transphobic meltdown, which immediately set it at odds with audiences savvy to the news. Last month though, journalist Liam Robertson uncovered that a lead on the game’s development team, Troy Leavitt, has a Youtube channel filled with rants that can be summarily described as pro-Gamergate crap. Gamergate, for those lucky enough to have missed it, was a harassment campaign waged against women in gaming disguised as some kind of discussion about “game ethics.” It’s a load of shit, basically.
This all before the game has certainly primed it for quite the comeback campaign. The first step in this was distancing the game from J.K Rowling’s statements, which the team did last fall. In a FAQ the team posted, they stated 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.” That “extraordinary body of writing” is filled to the brim with harmful stereotypes and informed by the mind and words of a transphobe, though, so while the strides being made here are important and good on their own, they’re mired in crap that makes this not only the bare minimum, but not nearly enough.