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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jake Hackney

Hogwarts Legacy banned from major gaming forum amid JK Rowling controversy

Discussion of Hogwarts Legacy has been banned from one of the world’s largest gaming forums amid controversy surrounding JK Rowling. The upcoming video game – set in the world of Harry Potter – looks set to be one of the biggest releases of the year, but gaming forum ResetEra has now banned all talk of the release on its platform due to alleged transphobic comments by author Rowling.

In a statement shared by PC Gamer, ResetEra general manager B-Dubs posted a statement on behalf of the forum’s moderation team accusing Rowling of using her influence to “push transphobic legislation.” It reads: “After continued internal discussion, we began to start outlining the issues put forth by Rowling and the game in question and each time, and as we discussed it all, we kept coming back to the simple fact that Rowling is not only a bigot but is actively pushing, in her position as a wealthy and famous individual, for legislation that will hurt trans people.

“That she uses the influence and money gained from her success with Harry Potter to push transphobic legislation.”

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ResetEra describes itself as “the internet’s premier video gaming forum” and boasts a community of more than 50,000 members. The site had previously banned all promotional posts for the game, and has now extended its ban to include any and all discussion.

Its statement also warned that any users discussing Hogwarts Legacy on the forum will be met with bans. The controversy stems from a public backlash received by Rowling after she made alleged transphobic comments on social media.

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In 2019, the author supported a researcher who lost her job after claiming a person cannot change their biological sex, and has since clashed with politicians and members of the transgender community online. Following several of her comments, stars of the Potter franchise – including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – have spoken out in their support of transgender rights.

Many gamers had also called for a boycott of Hogwarts Legacy before its release due to its association with the author. Despite this, it became the best-selling game on PC storefront Steam, and looks set to be one of the biggest-selling games of the year.

Warner Bros. Games – who is publishing Hogwarts Legacy under its Portkey Games label – have made clear that Rowling has not been involved with the game’s production. According to reports in Bloomberg, players will be able to create and customise a transgender avatar in the upcoming game.

It comes as the Hogwarts Legacy cast was revealed earlier this month, and it includes a Hollywood actor and former star of the Harry Potter franchise.


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