Hogwarts Legacy players will be able to create characters that have a male or female voice, regardless of their body, sources told Bloomberg News.
The upcoming Harry Potter video game will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type and gender for school dormitories, taking a step toward inclusiveness after several recent controversies stemming from the creator’s comments. JK Rowling series that were considered transphobic.
Hogwarts Legacy is slated for 2022 by publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. and developer Avalanche Software. When players start the game, they will be able to create a character who has a male or female voice regardless of their body, according to people familiar with the development of the game. People requested anonymity because they were not. allowed to speak to the press.
Players will then have the option of selecting one of two options – “witch” or “wizard” – which will determine which dormitory they will be placed in at Hogwarts School of Magic and how they will be treated by other characters in the game. .
While this level of customization has become more common in video games and is no longer unusual, it is notable for Hogwarts Legacy. Last summer, Rowling made several comments that were widely viewed as degrading to transgender people and denounced by many, including Harry Potter movie stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
The comments also rattled some people working on the game, Bloomberg reported. As a result, some members of the Hogwarts Legacy development team have been fighting to make the game as inclusive as possible, pushing for character customization and even the addition of a transgender character.
There was resistance from management at first, people familiar with the project said, but currently character customization is included in the game. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. declined to comment.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is a unit of AT&T Inc. and is home to titles like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Mortal Kombat 1. The unit had garnered the interest of several major companies last year and could have reaped $ 4 billion, according to a CNBC report last June.
But AT&T hesitated given the company’s growth potential, Bloomberg reported, and removed the unit from a list of potential asset sales. Harry Potter is one of the most lucrative entertainment franchises. The film series is the third-highest grossing of all time, with $ 7.7 billion in revenue, while Rowling has sold over half a billion books, more than any author. individual story.
Last month, Hogwarts Legacy faced more controversy after game reporter Liam Robertson revealed that Salt Lake City-based senior Avalanche producer Troy Leavitt made dozens of YouTube videos attacking feminism. and “social justice”.
He also expressed his support for Gamergate, a cowardly community of gamers who harass journalists and game developers for expressing progressive views. ResetEra, one of the largest video game forums, has enacted a “total ban on promotional media threads” around Hogwarts Legacy following this discovery and Rowling’s comments. Leavitt did not respond to a request for comment.