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Hogwarts Legacy: Why is the Harry Potter video game controversial?

Some fans have called for a boycott in protest at JK Rowling's comments on trans rights

Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy has attracted huge hype and controversy. (Avalanche Software/Warner Bros.)

The Harry Potter franchise is showing no signs of slowing down, more than 25 years after JK Rowling's first book was published.

Hogwarts Legacy, a new video game set in the Wizarding World, is the latest addition to the ever-growing Potter universe.

The game has already attracted huge hype as well as controversy, with some fans calling for a boycott in protest at Rowling's views on trans rights.

Here's everything you need to know about Hogwarts Legacy.

What is Hogwarts Legacy?

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world game set in the magical school in the 1890s, around 100 years before the events of the Harry Potter books.

Players take control of a fifth-year Hogwarts student who goes on a "dangerous journey" to "uncover a hidden truth of the Wizarding World".

Hogwarts Legacy
The open-world game is set in Hogwarts in the 1800s. (Avalanche Software/Warner Bros.)

The game features well-known locations including the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, as well as Hogwarts Castle itself.

The cast of voice actors includes Hot Fuzz star Simon Pegg, Downton Abbey's Lesley Nicol and Luke Youngblood, who played Lee Jordan in the Potter films.

Read more: What does the future hold for the Wizarding World movies?

When will Hogwarts Legacy be released?

The immersive role-playing game is out now on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions will land on April 4, followed by the Nintendo Switch edition on 25 July.

It is the first major Harry Potter video game since 2011's Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

Hogwarts Legacy
Some fans have called for a boycott of the new game. (Avalanche Software/Warner Bros.)

Why is the game controversial?

Some fans have urged gamers to boycott Hogwarts Legacy in protest at Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Rowling has attracted criticism from some groups for her views on gender identity and trans rights. She has strongly denied accusations of transphobia.

In December, she spoke out against the Scottish government's plans to make it easier for people to legally change their gender in Scotland.

She called the proposal "the single biggest assault on the rights of Scottish women and girls in my lifetime".

JK Rowling at the premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore
JK Rowling at the premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Warner Bros has said Rowling was not directly involved in the creation of the game, although they "collaborated closely" with her team.

Notably, Hogwarts Legacy features a trans character, a pub owner named Sirona Ryan, in a first for the Potter franchise.

Sebastian Croft, who voices a character in the game, has distanced himself from Rowling's views and apologised to fans who are "hurt" by his involvement.

He tweeted: "I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men... There is no LGB without the T."

Several of the film franchise's stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, have previously spoken out in support of trans rights.

The row also overshadowed the release of last year's reunion special, Return to Hogwarts, and the latest spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Where to buy Hogwarts Legacy

Buy at John Lewis Shop at Amazon Buy at Currys Buy at GAME Buy at HMV Buy at Argos

Hogwarts Legacy: Why are people boycotting one of the biggest games of the year?