Announced in September of last year, Hogwarts Legacy's announcement was met by a thunderous reaction among the Potter fan base.
The series of games based around the Wizarding World came to an end with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in a disappointing combination of first-person shooter/adventure title. Since then, Traveller's Tales has brought the movies back to life once again with their Lego iterations of the stories, bringing Harry, Ron, and Hermione back to the gaming world one last time.
Despite all this, it was revealed that Hogwarts Legacy had been delayed until 2022 with Warner Bros. Games needing more time to “create the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World.” Since this announcement, little to no information has become available regarding what players can expect from the upcoming title.
The Direct recently covered six features that need to be included within Hogwarts Legacy, and a recent report from Bloomberg has shed light on an important inclusion for the game.
HOGWARTS LEGACY DOUBLES DOWN ON INCLUSIVITY
Bloomberg revealed that Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming title from Warner Bros. Games, will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type, and gender when starting their journey in the game. This follows a number of recent controversies involving the creator of the series, J.K. Rowling, in which her comments were seen as hateful towards the transgender community.
A number of anonymous members of developer Avalanche Software's team have stated that when first starting the game, players will be able to create a character that has a masculine or feminine voice no matter what their body looks like. Players will then get to choose between a 'Witch' or 'Wizard' character, determining how they will be addressed throughout Hogwarts Castle.
Bloomberg also stated that management of the game did put up some resistance to the character customization at first, but currently, the character customization is included in the game. It was reported last month that Lead Designer of Hogwarts Legacy, Troy Leavitt, had previously run a far-right YouTube channel.
AVALANCHE AND WARNER BROS. MAKE THEIR MARK
This level of customization within a game is not a new concept by any means, with a number of titles now allowing players to create the character they have always dreamed of, but it's extremely significant for Hogwarts Legacy.
Warner Bros. Games have often found it difficult to create diverse customization options in their Harry Potter games due to the number of controversies that J.K. Rowling has found herself in, with the backlash often directed back to the publisher. Rowling's comments have been denounced by a number of high profile stars, including Danielle Radcliffe and Emma Watson who both started in the series of films, so the decision to distance themselves from the claims seems a smart one.
Customization is no longer a tough ask for a developer to include, especially when considering the type of game that Hogwarts Legacy desires to be. A role-playing game's aim is to place the player at the center of the story they choose to take, with actions and decisions all impacting the end goal. It's difficult to come up with a reason to not include high levels of customization within a game like this, and Warner Bros. eventual decision will only improve the relationship it has with its fan base.
It's now up to other developers to take note of the steps that Avalanche and Warner Bros. Games have taken and follow suit. Inclusivity is something seen more so across the whole landscape of video games, but there are always more changes that can be made.
Hogwarts Legacy will be available in 2022 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.