New Harry Potter video game sparks conversation about JK Rowling's legacy

New Harry Potter video game sparks conversation about JK Rowling's legacy

Conversations about whether we should separate the art from the artist have been ongoing in music, literature, television and film for years.

But now the discussion has reached video games, thanks to JK Rowling.

Warner Brothers recently announced Hogwarts Legacy, a new Harry Potter game scheduled in line with the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5.

But there have been calls to boycott the game on social media, thanks to its source material which is penned by JK Rowling.

The author has recently made a number of statements which have been interpreted as transphobic and have culminated in her returning a human rights award.

This week there was further alarm from LGBTQ+ organisations and the public alike when it was revealed Rowling’s latest novel in her ‘Strike’ series features a cisgender male serial killer who ‘cross-dresses’ and disguises himself as a woman while committing his crimes.

Many accused Rowling of stirring further anti-trans fears with her portrayal of the character.

And now, the release of Hogwarts Legacy has some saying that there should be a mass-boycott of Rowling-related products altogether.

People think Rowling will receive royalties from Hogwarts Legacy.

Some trans individuals equated supporting the game with ‘not caring’ about trans people.

But others disagreed and said they didn’t care if people purchased the game and that an understanding of ‘comradeliness’ has been lost.

Others also emphasised that Rowling’s involvement would have been minimal and it would be the developers who’d suffer from a boycott.

As one person put it, "Harry Potter is way more than that person”.

For their part, Warner Bros have distanced themselves from Rowling in an FAQ on their website, clarifying that the author was “not directly involved" in the creation of the game.

“Her, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World,” the statement read, adding:

“This is not a new story from JK Rowling”.

To buy or not to buy… that is the question.

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