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.”
Wands at the ready for an all new State of Play focused on Hogwarts Legacy, featuring an extended first look at gameplay this Thursday, March 17 at 2 PM PT: https://t.co/TwujdB2cBr pic.twitter.com/bFZMWjdZ2t
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 14, 2022
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.