On Hogwarts Legacy's Early Success

CNN Business reports on the strong early success of Hogwarts Legacy despite the facts that the game has been embroiled in controversy and its official launch won't arrive for another couple of hours. But the Early Access release for Digital Deluxe Edition customers began on Tuesday, and reportedly "already broke a record on Twitch for being the most-watched single-player game." The article also has a summary of the background controversy, and efforts by the creators of the game at distancing it from J.K. Rowling's rhetoric:
Part of the game’s expectation is based on controversy surrounding Harry Potter’s creator — J.K. Rowling. The author has repeatedly made anti-trans comments, and some of the movies’ actors have spoken out against them. Some gamers also are boycotting Hogwarts Legacy over the controversy.

“It’s not a commercial risk so much as is a cultural one,” van Dreunen said of the game’s release.

The game features a trans character, a first for the franchise. Though the Hogwarts Legacy character Sirona Ryan does not explicitly say she is trans, dialogue in a scene suggests it: “[It] took them a second to realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard,” the character said.

Warner Bros. Discovery said creating diverse characters was a high priority in order to encompass all people who play the games including the LGBTQIA+ community.

The company says J.K. Rowling is not involved in the Hogwarts Legacy game. But she does stand to make licensing royalties. Some fans have been turned off to the franchise because of Rowling’s comments, others say they won’t let that get in the way of experiencing a new world of Harry Potter.