60% of gamers has doubts about buying Hogwarts Legacy after J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments
Even those who will buy the game, seem to buy it in spite of the popular author. One of the responses argues to “remove the art from the artist”. Others need to know more before making their decision. Someone replies, “I think before I buy the game, I need to do my research. Someone recently told me that if you watch/read the whole interview, her words were taken out of context. So I’ll look into it before I decide.”
It’s not just players joining the boycott. Multiple game review channels are ignoring the release of one of the biggest games in the year. And it’s not a matter of time – reviewers receive early copies, and a pre-release has been launched since.
Controversy between Rowling and the LGBTQ+ community
The boycott follows a clash between the global LGBTQ+ community and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Her comments received a lot of backlash, which prompted Rowling to write an essay where she criticized some LGBTQ+ practices as promoting the ‘erasure of women’.
The release of the long-awaited game Hogwarts Legacy adds a new chapter to the ongoing fight. While Rowling wasn’t involved in the making of the game – which ironically features a transgender character: Sirona Ryan, the owner of The Three Broomsticks Pub in Hogsmeade – she does receive royalties based on the use of her characters and world. This makes Hogwarts Legacy the first product that could be boycotted since her now notorious tweets.
It could have tremendous consequences for the game itself. Even though Hogwarts Legacy is already the fastest selling PC game in history (the only platform of which numbers are available) before its official release date, hordes of players seem to avoid the game altogether.
To gauge how many people join the boycott, CasinoReviews.nl asked gamers in the week before the game’s release if they’d buy Hogwarts Legacy in light of the controversy. A total of 832 players responded. Of those, 332 people (39,9%) said they’d buy the game, 352 people (46,6% mentioned they wouldn’t, with 114 people (13,7%) still unsure. The respondents consisted for 54% of men and 46% women. The interviewed group play a minimum of 4 hours a week and the biggest age group is between 25-35 years old.