In 2018, a leak revealed a Harry Potter RPG game that was one of many in development. A video showcased gameplay but nothing has been said about the game since, until now. Several people working on the game have spoken to Bloomberg and revealed that the game is real, in development, and is scheduled to release next year for platforms including PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The article also mentions how the possible sale of Warner Bros. video game publishing business and backlash from J.K. Rowling’s recent comments may affect the game.
The Harry Potter RPG will have players enter the world of Hogwarts and its surrounding areas as Wizards. Two people working on it have confirmed that the game is real. It’s being developed by Avalanche Software and remains on track for release next year despite everything that has happened in 2020. The plan was to reveal the game at this year’s E3, but the show was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The game will be officially revealed on a later date after the new Batman game is revealed during the digital DC FanDome event in August.
Earlier this month, a new report revealed that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Gaming Division could be sold which means that it could have a big impact on certain games in development such as the Batman game, the Suicide Squad game, and this Harry Potter RPG.”The potential sale of Warner Bros. Interactive would have an even greater impact on the game’s future,” said Matthew Kanterman, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Pricy projects are the most at risk of cancellation in the event of a sale, especially something like this that has been in the works for years.”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Compounding the official reveal of the game further is the backlash from Harry Potter fans after J.K. Rowling’s recent comments about how an article used the phrase “people who menstruate” to distinguish people who were born as a woman and people who transitioned. She explains on her website that “the ‘inclusive’ language that calls people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanizing and demeaning.” Many transgender people felt demeaned and fans and collaborators including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson did not agree with her stance.
Afterward Warner Bros. released a statement saying: “The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues. Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”
Regarding the upcoming Harry Potter RPG, fans have started to not support the brand. Felicia Grady, Managing Editor of MuggleNet, a popular Harry Potter fansite said, “based on what I’ve seen from fans, I do believe that Rowling’s comments have had some effect on the level of excitement they have for the Harry Potter RPG or other upcoming content. We’ve seen comments from fans who no longer wish to support Rowling or the brand financially.” On Reddit, there is a community of the upcoming game. The forum has gone from the exchange of rumors about the game and wish lists for what they want out of the game to debating Rowling’s comments. The editors of the forum posted a statement saying that they “firmly stand in disagreement with the opinions stated in those tweets.”