Friday’s State Of Play Is All About Hogwarts Legacy, A Game That Cannot Catch A Break

Friday’s State Of Play Is All About Hogwarts Legacy, A Game That Cannot Catch A Break

Only a week after the last instalment, PlayStation has announced a new State of Play broadcast centred on Hogwarts Legacy for Friday morning.

The game, set in the Harry Potter universe, has been plagued with drama since it was announced. Most of this drama has been external and connected to series creator JK Rowling’s staunchly anti-transgender views. Indeed, in recent years, Rowling has converted her entire online presence into a platform for doubling down on her anti-trans stance. She also seems to be at her most prolific and divisive right before Hogwarts Legacy has a new announcement to make.

This last weekend was no exception. Rowling publicly slammed UK Labour Party leader Kier Starmer following his calls to reform the country’s gender recognition law. In a post on her Twitter account, Rowling claimed the party “could no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights.”

She went on to assert that she had been contacted by “innumerable gay people” who felt they were “under attack for not wishing to be redefined and for refusing to use ideological language they find offensive.”

The internet was very interested to hear all about these “innumerable” gay people. Supporters attempting to trend an “#IStandWithJKRowling” hashtag were quickly overwhelmed by trans allies using “#JKDoesn’tSpeakForMe” as a counter.

All of this, of course, happened the weekend before the Hogwarts Legacy State of Play was due to be screened. The State of Play was unveiled on social media and the official PlayStation Blog early this morning. The show will kick off in Australia on Friday, March 18th, at 8 am AEDT via the PlayStation Twitch and YouTube accounts.

The name Hogwarts Legacy is now rather ironic. The problem developer Avalanche Software now faces is that Rowling has tainted every aspect of the Harry Potter franchise. Hogwarts’ real-world legacy is permanently sullied. Avalanche, developing the game for Warner Bros under its Portkey Games imprint, has made numerous attempts to distance itself from Rowling and her views. It is plainly aware of the tense conversation around its subject material, but it also cannot escape it.

Though the game’s marketing plan rumbles ever onward, and it’s likely we’ll have a release date by the end of the week, it’s easy to feel like there are a lot of people in the development trenches who’ll be glad to ship Hogwarts Legacy and then forget all about it.

Comments

  • The problem is gonna be if the game is successful then they’re going to be locked in for DLC or a sequel to milk their new cash cow game series. Fans have been jumping up and down for this series since the the start of the franchise and if the developers have done anywhere near close to a decent job, JKR’s name on the IP isn’t going to make a difference to their want to play a game that was 20 years in the making. Avalanche, while it’s doing its best to stay away from the bullshit, is going to be subject to this for as long as the game series last.

    JKR should keep her mouth shut for once in her life, if only for all of the other people working on her properties who are being harassed due to her behaviour. For someone who claims to be an advocate that stands up for others, she never does that with the workers attached to Harry Potter. While it might be largely the world’s crazies harassing these people and they’re responsible for their own actions, JKR is far from helping.

      • The harassment of the devs is never going to end if this series does well, because JKR can’t shut the hell up. It’s a sad situation for all of the people minding their own business, then getting harassed because she feels the need to have a Twitter meltdown every week.

        • While I’m sure there are people who have projected their ire in the developer’s direction (this is true no matter which developer or which game), the controversies around this developer actually have nothing to do with the HPL property or its attachment to JKR. The ire this developer has received is entirely centred on sexual harassment claims which eventually lead to a departure.

          By all means, JKR really does need to simmer down and think about the people she’s causing harm to (incl. the LGBT+ community which she is insistent on trying to divide), but the people who work on the HP property aren’t being victimised by people who want to stick it to JKR.

          In fact, HP remains popular even among those who are fans that JKR has actively made a point of denigrating. Fact is, for many, many people, the story of HP really did add value to their lives, despite JKR’s reactionary hackery. So even if all of these fans and advocacy groups hated her (to be sure, they do), they aren’t attacking the others attached to the IP on the basis of professional associations (several degrees removed) with JKR.

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