The 'Harry Potter' Video Game 'Hogwarts Legacy' Will Allow Players To Create Transgender Characters

In what appears to be a direct refute of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling's poisonous transphobia, the upcoming Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy will allow players to customize their characters to be transgender. It's a feature that the development team has reportedly been pushing hard to implement in lieu of Rowling's distressing remarks, and which is planned to be a key part of the game when it launches in 2022.

Bloomberg reports that a trans-inclusive character creator feature will be part of the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Avalanche Software game, allowing players to "customize their character's voice, body type and gender placement for the school dormitories."

Per Bloomberg, "When players start up the game, they will be able to create a character that has a masculine or feminine voice no matter what their body looks like, according to people familiar with the game's development." Players will then get to select either "witch" or "wizard" to determine which dorm they'll get placed in at Hogwarts and how they will be addressed by other characters in-game.

This level of customization is not unusual in video games, but it is noteworthy in light of Rowling's blatant transphobia, which has damaged the public goodwill toward the franchise and been denounced by Harry Potter film stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Harry Potter, a series long thought of as being a safe haven for inclusivity, was no longer. But the Hogwarts Legacy development team want to bring that inclusivity back to the franchise. Members of team who were "rattled" by Rowling's comments reportedly pushed for character customization and even a transgender character to be added, Bloomberg reports. There is no news yet on whether the latter will be added, but the character customization is part of the current plan, per Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.

But this positive step towards trans-inclusivity should come with a grain of salt. Rowling may not be directly involved in the project, which is solely overseen by Portkey Games, a new division created to oversee interactive Harry Potter experiences, but she notably still earns royalties for projects under the Harry Potter brand.

Here's the official synopsis for the game:

Experience a new story set at Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Make allies, battle Dark wizards and decide the fate of the wizarding world.

When Hogwarts Legacy finally does launch, supposedly in 2022, it will be available on a wide range of platforms including PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.