New Harry Potter online game will permit transgender characters | Leisure Information

Hogwarts Legacy players will be able to create characters that have a male or female voice regardless of what their body looks like, sources told Bloomberg News.

The next Harry Potter video game will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type, and gender assignment for the school dormitories, and after several controversies arising from comments by series creator JK Rowling who were viewed as transphobic, step in Towards making inclusivity.

Hogwarts Legacy is expected to be released in 2022 by publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. and developer Avalanche Software. When players start the game, they can create a character who has a male or female voice regardless of what their body looks like, according to those familiar with the game’s development. People asked for anonymity because they weren’t allowed to speak to the press.

Players can then choose one of two options – “Witch” or “Wizard” – which determine which dorm they will be placed in at the Hogwarts Magical School and how they will be addressed by other characters in the game.

Although this level of customization is becoming more common and no longer uncommon in video games, it is noteworthy for Hogwarts Legacy. Last summer, Rowling made several comments that were widely viewed as demeaning to transgender people and denounced by many, including Harry Potter film stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.

The comments also shook some people working on the game, Bloomberg reported. As a result, some members of the Hogwarts Legacy development team have struggled to make the game as inclusive as possible, pushing for the characters to be customized and even a transgender character added.

Initially there was resistance from management, said people familiar with the project, but currently character customization is included in the game. A Warner Bros. spokesman declined to comment.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is a unit of AT&T Inc. and is home to titles such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Mortal Kombat 1. The unit attracted the interest of several large corporations over the past year and would have been worth $ 4 billion, according to a report by CNBC – Can bring in dollars last June.

However, given the company’s growth potential, AT&T has held back and removed the unit from a list of potential asset sales, according to Bloomberg. Harry Potter is one of the most lucrative entertainment franchises. The film franchise is the third-highest-grossing ever, with sales of $ 7.7 billion, while Rowling has sold more than half a billion books, more than any single author in history.

Last month, Hogwarts Legacy became controversial after game journalist Liam Robertson announced that Troy Leavitt, a senior producer for Salt Lake City-based Avalanche, made dozens of YouTube videos attacking feminism and “social justice” .

He also expressed his support for Gamergate, a casual community of gamers who harass journalists and game developers for expressing progressive views. ResetEra, one of the largest video game forums, issued after this discovery and Rowling’s comments a “total ban on threads for advertising material” around Hogwarts Legacy. Leavitt did not respond to a request for comment.

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