Boycott or not Boycott. This is the big question of the moment that has invaded Twitter and the Reddit forum. It concerns the highly anticipated video game of this beginning of the year: Hogwarts Legacy, in French the legacy of Hogwarts.
First open-world game from the Harry Potter universe. The open world is one of the most popular game types for gamers, because you can just as well wander around the world doing nothing… as doing missions. So these are games that never end like GTA or Red Dead Redemption. So inevitably an open Harry Potter world makes fans of the wizard dream. Especially since the historic producer of the franchise, Warner, saw things big with this game. We will be able to embody our own wizard, create him physically… and above all choose his house… it’s a bit of everyone’s dream who have been immersed in the Harry Potter universe since their childhood.
And then we’ll be able to walk around the Hogwarts school of magic, meet emblematic characters, cast spells… Personally, I have stars in my eyes, I’m on the verge of buying myself a console just to be able to use it. player.
Because who says Harry Potter, says JK Rowling its author. And JK Rowling has publicly made transphobic remarks several times. She alienated the LGBTQIA + community but also the 3 main actors of the saga who quickly dissociated themselves from her remarks. The author tried to redeem an image by claiming, for example, that the character of Dumbledore was gay, but many saw this as unwelcome recovery.
Since then, the community of Harry Potter fans has been divided. Should they continue to buy merchandise or go to amusement parks? Because obviously, the profits partly benefit JK Rowling. And the release of Hogwarts Legacy next week has set the fire to the powder, and in a much more virulent way. Example on Twitter, we can read this:
Buying, promoting or streaming Hogwarts Legacy? You participate in the decline of the rights of trans people there is no debate. We don’t want you as an “ally” you finance our discrimination, the increase in our attacks, our eviction from health systems.
Inevitably seeing the number of boycott calls increase on the networks, Warner also wanted to dissociate himself from JK Rowling, specifying that she was not involved in the creation of the game. And above all, they added that the game contained inclusive options, including the ability to play as a trans character. Let’s not be naive, it’s marketing, but it’s still going in the right direction…
No, because everything related to Harry Potter is identified with JK Rowling… and as I told you, it’s thanks to that that she continues to make a fortune… That’s what doesn’t pass. For some, buying Hogwarts Legacy is like donating 1 euro to an anti-trans association. Suddenly, they demonstrate their boycott as they can. For example on specialized sites, many reviews about the game are negative even before its release. This is called review bombing… I told you about it in one of my columns… it’s the principle of badly rating something… a product or a series… so that its rating drops.
The specialized gaming forum, ResetEra, has completely banned all discussions on video games, to quote “not to promote the ideas of a transphobe”.
On the other hand, others try to temporize. They say in particular that they are not going to deprive themselves of having fun because of JK Rowling and that we can love the world she has created without validating her words. And then there are also the most extreme who denounce the cancel culture of the internet. It is an unfortunately very complicated subject: dissociating the work of the artist. And even more complicated in this case, because the artist is not directly attached to the work…
In any case, do not count on JK Rowling to lay low or to apologize. When asked how she manages to sleep at night given the reviews, she replies that she’s going to see her bank account and that it’s better. But she should know: money doesn’t buy happiness.
Hogwarts Legacy: the Harry Potter video game that divides the networks