Despite Controversy, “Hogwarts Legacy” Breaks Records In First Week


The opening to “Hogwarts Legacy”. Photo Courtesy of Avalanche Software.

Bryson Christopher, Staff Writer

“Hogwarts Legacy”, the first Harry Potter video game by a major studio, came out Feb. 10, 2023 to acclaim from significant backlash. Shattering milestones, “Hogwarts Legacy” has become one of the fastest selling games ever, blowing past last year’s best seller, “Elden Ring”, which sat at 17.5 million copies sold in the first week.

However, despite the large success of the game, it is still surrounded by harsh controversy. 

Many video game enthusiasts connect the game to the creator, JK Rowling, and her past transphobic comments. This has led to criticism of her monetary connection to the game.

Although Rowling played no part in the development of the game itself, she makes 10% royalties off of all products with the Harry Potter IP. Rowling has been criticized for her views on the trans community, and the fact that she calls herself a TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist). She has made many comments about the trans community on her Twitter.

As the game release approached and came, the discourse surrounding it became more prominent, with many advocating for a boycott due to her trans views, and others calling it unnecessary, as Rowling had no creative involvement in the game.

One teacher and avid video game enthusiast at State High, Josh Horton, recently purchased the game despite the controversy. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, her comments were definitely hurtful – especially as a long time Harry Potter fan,” Horton said. “However, I think Harry Potter’s bigger than J.K. Rowling at this point. This is so many people’s childhood dreams, and since she never had any direct involvement in the game, I think it’s up to each individual person whether or not to buy it,” he added. Horton also noted that on top of the purchase of the 70 dollar game, he donated twice the cost to charities to support the trans community.

While many game enthusiasts are citing transphobia as a significant problem in the game, others bring up the issue of anti-Semitism as well. Some claim that the game portrays harmful anti-Semitic stereotypes, centering around a goblin rebellion as the main antagonists.

A junior grader at State High, Sawyer McLaughlin, said, “As someone who’s Jewish, when I heard about the anti-Semitism stuff it made me think about it a lot. I don’t think it’s directly trying to be offensive but it’s definitely concerning and a red flag for the game.” 

Another junior and avid video game player at the school, Adam Papazoglou, said, “the whole thing with the goblins is kind of questionable.” Despite the concerns with offensive stereotypes, “I bought the game a few days ago and have played for about 8 hours. It’s really awesome so far, can’t wait to keep going,” Papazoglou said.

White the game faces vast controversy, it continues to perform incredibly, being the largest game on Twitch, Steam, and the Xbox and Playstation stores (as of Feb. 15, 2023).

Nonetheless, the future of games is always determined by the fans, and with the fans conflicted over the state of the game, this recent Harry Potter legacy remains uncertain.