As controversy around the embattled author continues to grow, Warner Bros Games has become the latest company to distance themselves from J.K. Rowling. The move comes ahead of the preeminent release of Hogwarts Legacy, an open-world adventure game coming soon for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
“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.” Warner Bros Games go on to note in an online FAQ that Hogwarts Legacy “is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”
Announced during Wednesday’s PlayStation showcase, the game is set in Hogwarts in the 1800s, where they will play a student “who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart.”
That a company such as Warner Bros Games should move so quickly to distance themselves from the author would to many, come as little surprise given her panache for anti-trans rhetoric. Just this week, the author came under a fresh round of fire upon news that her latest novel would feature a ‘cross dressing serial killer’ with many quick to draw parallels between literature and reality.
And while many fans have called for boycott’s of the game, others have been quick to point out that to paint the game developers Avalanche Software with the same brush as J.K. Rowling would be unfair at best.
Either way, this recent move by Warner Bros Games has come at a time when the world of gaming is just starting to become aware of its own issues surrounding representation and diversity. Earlier this month, Tell Me Why was released on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One, Windows PC and Steam. In it, the narrative adventure centres on transgender man Tyler Ronan, who reunites with his twin in their Alaska hometown after their mother’s mysterious death.
The team responsible for Tell Me Why worked closely with GLAAD in developing the game with Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director of transgender representation, who was a consultant for Tell Me Why, saying.
“Authentic media portrayals of trans characters can be a powerful tool for acceptance and understanding.
“When we see real characters in film, TV, games that are made with care that just show trans people as we actually are and not the stereotypes of the past, everyone who plays the game will have the opportunity to be a trans person, even in this tiny, little, small way, even in the context of a game,”