The much anticipated action role-playing game Hogwarts Legacy is taking a beating after yet another person involved has unapologetically posted bigoted content, this time in the form of YouTube videos. Lead designer Troy Leavitt has been called out for his YouTube channel that included content attacking the #MeToo movement, Gamergate and downplaying sexual harassment as a whole. This is a serious blow for the Warner Bros. game as people were already concerned with its connection with J.K. Rowling after her transphobic tweets this past year.
The internet is not playing around with the hatred involved with the Harry Potter universe. Resetera, one of the largest independently owned video game forums, has washed its hands of the game completely. The forum is home to some 50 000 members, and they have made the tough call to completely ban all promotional media for Hogwarts Legacy. Resetera is concerned that Leavitt bringing further negative attention, plus the sheer reach of J.K. Rowling, will only attract controversial and hate filled comments.
The game is being developed by Avalanche Software, which is owned by Warner Bros. and known for the Disney Infinity series of games. Leavitt revealed that when being hired by the company he fully disclosed his YouTube channel and no one showed concern.
“I’m happy to say that, even though I disclosed my YouTube channel to WB Games, it didn’t appear to be an issue for them.” Leavitt explained “Not that they endorse anything that I’ve said, of course, but at least they seem more concerned with making good games than with pushing some kind of a social justice agenda, so there is hope.”
People on Twitter are waiting to see a response from Warner Bros., and see how they handle both the controversy, and the fact that they knew ahead of time.
Hogwarts Legacy was announced in September 2020, and was met with plenty of enthusiasm from fans. Whether Leavitt’s bigotry or J.K. Rowling’s unpopular views hurt the project still remains to be seen. Resetera set a standard for how to give its members a safe space while offering gaming discourse, and it will be interesting to see if any other forums follow suit.