Hogwarts Legacy Certainly Seems Like It Was Supposed To Have Quidditch

Hogwarts Legacy Certainly Seems Like It Was Supposed To Have Quidditch

Just outside the main castle grounds in Hogwarts Legacy, the vibrant and towering Quidditch stands sit on the horizon, beckoning. If you hop on your broomstick, you can soar up the pitch’s shorter walls and down onto the field itself, the impossibly green grass begging to be sullied by your footsteps. If you want, you can recreate the scene where Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy battle amongst its rafters from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, or you can simply fly between its House-coloured stands, enjoying the whoosh of your broomstick.

You just can’t play Quidditch.

No Quidditch for you

Screenshot: WB Games / Kotaku
Screenshot: WB Games / Kotaku

There are a lot of problems with Hogwarts Legacy — its RPG elements rob it of much of its magic, it doubles down on J.K. Rowling’s anti-Semitic goblin characters while also giving the famously TERFy author more money, it wants you to kidnap animals under the guise of saving them, and it lets you do lots of murders with no repercussions. But one of the most bizarre aspects of WB Games’ controversial RPG is the lack of Quidditch, the wildly popular in-universe sport played on broomsticks. Why is there an entire Quidditch pitch, advanced broomstick mechanics, upgrade options for your broom, and NPC chatter about the Quidditch season if there’s no Quidditch?

Read More: 15 Hours With Hogwarts Legacy: Magical Surface, Rotten Core

For those who don’t know, a quick recap. Quidditch is a broomstick-based game invented for the Harry Potter universe that features seven players on each team competing against each other to score in one of three hooped goals of varying heights. The Chasers and Keeper score and defend the goals with the Quaffle, a large, volleyball-like ball, while two beaters will smack dangerous balls called Bludgers away from their teammates and towards enemy teams. There is also a small, winged ball called the Golden Snitch that the Seekers must capture to end the game — doing so will net them 150 points. The team with the highest points at the end of the match wins.

A few Harry Potter games have featured Quidditch before, to varying degrees of success. A couple movie tie-in games (which are famously polarising and inconsistent in terms of quality) feature the sport, as do some Lego Harry Potter titles. There’s even a 2003 Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup game where you can compete for the House Cup with a roster based on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Akzaban, or go for the World Cup as one of the international teams. It’s widely considered a decent Quidditch game (though it only lets you play two of four positions), but with two decades passed since its debut, those who really want to throw Quaffles and beat the brakes off each other with sticks were holding out for Quidditch in Hogwarts Legacy. They were sorely disappointed.

Bizarrely, Legacy adds a half-baked minigame that you can play in the shadows of the Quidditch pitch and time-trial races you can do on broom-back, both of which feel like little more than a sad concession, an old mint left on the leather check holder at a subpar Italian restaurant in Times Square. Sorry your chicken parmigiana was dry, here’s a candy we found between the plastic-covered sofa cushions at our nonna’s house.

The in-game lore provides a reason for Hogwarts Legacy not having Quidditch, but it feels like a last-minute addition stapled on to stop people with Deathly Hallows tats from rioting. Headmaster Phineus Nigellus Black, in his stuffy “welcome back to school speech” at the start of the game, announces, almost as an afterthought that “due to the unfortunate injury on the pitch in last spring’s final, this year’s Quidditch season has been cancelled.” Cue the groans of Hogwarts students and college Quidditch teams alike.

Hogwarts Legacy’s characters don’t let up on their disdain at the lack of Quidditch, either, as if the game is trying to tell you that, guys, this sucks for them, too. Students discuss Quidditch matches in backgrounds conversations, flying professor Madam Kogawa wonders if Black will reinstate the sport, and a note found in the hospital wing suggests the injured player isn’t all that injured. All of this extra set dressing makes the absence of Quidditch more glaring — and also sets the stage for what many players are suggesting is coming down the pipe: DLC.

The DLC dilemma

Screenshot: WB Games / Kotaku
Screenshot: WB Games / Kotaku

Before Hogwarts Legacy launched, WB Games made it explicitly clear: there would be no Quidditch — it even says so in the game’s official FAQ. But rumours swirled, game files leaked, and the presence of both flying mechanics and Quidditch uniform cosmetics had players convinced that Quidditch was coming. Now, with the game out and the lack of Quidditch readily apparent, players have pivoted to DLC in the hopes that the sport will come if they just cough over some extra bucks.

But, as IGN recently reported, Hogwarts Legacy’s publisher has flat-out said there were “no current plans for DLC” as recently as February 17 of this year, as the team is “really heads down bringing [Hogwarts Legacy] to life.” When I reached out to WB Games for a chance to chat about Quidditch, I was told that the team is not conducting interviews at this time.

But Quidditch makes little sense when considering Hogwarts Legacy’s narrative — your character only has to go to a single class in each subject, and aside from the forced cutscenes that find you waking in your common room quarters, there’s no sense of the days passing the way they would normally at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can wander the halls at night without repercussion, fuck off and fly away into the Scottish highlands when you should presumably be repotting a Mandrake, and rearrange your Room of Requirement for hours instead of getting to know your new classmates. The enchanted hourglasses that keep track of house points never seem to change, even your professors just say a flat “points to Slytherin” without offering any actual amount. Quidditch, like real-life high school sports, is a part of the day-to-day lives of Hogwarts students — but you don’t live that kind of life in Hogwarts Legacy.

Even if the team at WB decides to add Quidditch in some surprise DLC, it wouldn’t make sense in the world they’ve created. Sure, it could be fun, especially with the fairly good flying mechanics, but I can’t imagine it would be worth the considerable effort the dev team would have to put into it. Considering how popular Hogwarts Legacy is, however (it’s dominating Twitch and sold over 12 million units in its first two weeks) it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if WB Games decided to sit down and milk that cash cow some more.

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