According to a report from Bloomberg, the upcoming Harry Potter RPG, Hogwarts Legacy will include transgender characters in an attempt to push towards inclusivity.
Developers from Avalanche Software spoke with Bloomberg (under anonymity), but stated that you'll have the option to create a feminine or masculine witch or a wizard when you start the game. You'll be able to customize your character's voice, physical appearance, and even how other NPCs address you in-game.
On their own, these customization options are welcome and should be the standard for games that feature a character creator. But when considering Harry Potter series creator J.K. Rowling's horrific stance on the transgender community, Hogwarts Legacy's customization feels more like a way to simply appease fans while prioritizing the bottom line: Profit.
Sure, it's great to see this level of customization and the game will almost certainly be better because of it, but much more needs to be done to right the ship, especially since Rowling will indeed receive royalties from Hogwarts Legacy's sales.
Moreover, Avalanche's Senior Producer Troy Leavitt was recently exposed (as uncovered by journalist Liam Robertson) for creating YouTube videos attacking feminism, supporting Gamergate, and defending Pixar's John Lasseter, a person accused of sexual misconduct. This is yet another development that has made Harry Potter fans uneasy about supporting the upcoming game — even if most of the staff at Avalanche seems to have good intentions.
Some fans have expressed their disappointment that Leavitt is still employed at Avalanche in light of the YouTube videos he created, while others feel that Rowling needs to recant her statements about trans people and have a change of heart. Otherwise, many still feel uncomfortable supporting the game since Rowling will still reap the benefits of its success. Other members of the community have stated they'll buy the game pre-owned, so as not to support the publisher (and by extension, Rowling) directly.
It's a tricky situation because Harry Potter is so important to a lot of us and has had a major impact on our childhoods. But ultimately, some of the creative minds behind Harry Potter make the entire franchise difficult to support, which is ironic considering the underlying theme of the series is love, not hate.