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As the release of Hogwarts Legacy grows closer, fans of the Harry Potter franchise are anxiously waiting for their chance to live out the life of a Hogwarts student. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Harry Potter has become an increasingly controversial property, not just for the circumstances surrounding author J.K. Rowling, but of the content of the books themselves.
After decades of scrutiny, fans of Harry Potter have noticed some unfortunate elements of the books’ narratives that didn’t stand out when they were children. Some issues were minor, while others left readers with a bad taste in their mouths that spoiled the series for them. Hogwarts Legacy would be smart to try and amend some of these issues if they want to create a successful game and narrative.
Updated on January 21st, 2022 by Mayra García: Hogwarts Legacy is one of the most anticipated games of the year, but the franchise is still in the middle of several scandals that will definitely affect the video game’s success. We updated this list with more things Hogwarts Legacy should take into consideration so as to not go on history as one of the most controversial games ever.
15 The Films Left Out Many Things That Fans Want To See
As happens with most book-to-film adaptations, the Harry Potter movies missed the mark when it comes to the things that they left behind. From the lack of characters that fans really wanted to see like Peeves the Poltergeist to interesting creatures such as Blast-Ended Skrewts, the movie franchise disappointed some Potterheads.
The video game has the opportunity to correct this huge mistake. Since Hogwarts Legacy aims to be an immersive experience, it must include as many characters and magical beasts as possible. After all, the franchise has hundreds of options to choose from.
14 The World Is Built On A Shaky Foundation
The world of Harry Potter was never crafted with the same attention to detail as Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Instead, J.K. Rowling seemed to favor making elements of her world up as she went along. For a series of children’s books, it’s more than acceptable to create a world that doesn’t quite hold up to scrutiny.
However, when it comes time to translate that world into an immersive experience like Hogwarts Legacy, this could create issues. Developers will have to be very careful to create a world that feels authentic while navigating the established world’s existing contradictions.
13 The Fantastic Beasts Trilogy Didn’t Gather That Many Fans
Given that Harry Potter is one of the most beloved franchises ever, Warner gave it a second chance five after the last film with Fantastic Beasts. Unfortunately, even though this saga explored the wizarding world even further, it didn’t charm the fans as much as the original story. Each Fantastic Beasts film did progressively worst than the previous one in cinemas.
If Hogwarts Legacy wants to ensure Potterheads will be satisfied, it needs to steer away from this trilogy. Fans don’t really care for the lack of effort put into creating the American wizarding world. Besides, the World War II-inspired plot and villain felt derivative.
12 Magic Duels Were Largely Uninteresting
Earlier Harry Potter novels did a good job of making magic duels feel somewhat creative. As the series continued, though, the heroes mostly relied on dodging behind cover to avoid spells that were essentially bullets reskinned as jets of light.
If Hogwarts Legacy wants to justify its existence as a game where players become wizards and witches, it will need to give players more than a 3rd person shooter with wands. Hopefully, players will get to utilize magic in creative ways far beyond shooting beams of light at one another.
11 The Heroes Act A Lot Like The Villains
What makes a character in Harry Potter good or bad isn’t necessarily the actions they take, but whether they’re Harry’s allies. Hagrid disfigured Harry’s 11-year-old cousin and Fred and George Weasley nearly killed a rival Quidditch player, but they’re friends with Harry so these crimes are played for laughs.
The books get away with this bullies-on-both-sides approach by putting readers in Harry’s shoes, but Hogwarts Legacy won’t have that luxury. Players will be deciding for themselves if they like the characters, so Legacy will need to give fans good reason to consider them the heroes of their story.
10 Stereotyping Kids According To Their House Won’t Cut It Anymore
When Harry Potter first became a phenomenon, fans all over the world were eager to know which would be their Hogwarts house. However, as the series ages, this arbitrary classification feels more and more unfair every time. Dividing kids into brave, cunning, smart, and kind, is quite deterministic.
The Harry Potter films, books, and existent video games take advantage of this classification to stereotype characters, which makes for a very poor narrative every time. In order to stand out from other products, Hogwarts Legacy shouldn’t use this division to craft its characters.
9 The Magic System Seemed Made Up On The Spot
When creating a fictional world with magic, magic mustn’t be just used as a narrative device. Unfortunately, Harry Potter occasionally fell into this trap. For example, Patronuses went from Dementor fighting tools to long-distance messengers without warning or explanation.
As a video game, Hogwarts Legacy is going to need to be a little more firm with its rules for the magic system. The creative team will need to establish exactly what spells can do to avoid confusion over the ever-changing nature of the wizarding world’s magic.
8 Love Potions Are Incredibly Problematic
One of the things from the Harry Potter franchise that has aged very poorly is love potions. These concoctions, some stronger than others, help anyone force another person into feeling a love-like euphoric emotion for them. Of course, the implication of these potions is terrible as they erase consent from any relationship.
In the films and books, for example, Voldemort’s mother, Merope Gaunt, forced Tom Riddle Sr. to be with her using a love potion. Hogwarts Legacy controversy has little to do with it, but love potions are one of the most controversial things in the franchise. Hopefully, the videogame will stay far from them.
7 Quidditch Is A Terribly Designed Sport
Diligent Harry Potter fans will notice that Quidditch was never intended to be a well-designed team sport. It was clearly used as a narrative device to show that Harry was good at something. The sport was designed to allow him to shine as a single player without confusing the children reading it.
Players of Hogwarts Legacy would feel cheated playing Quidditch in any position but Seeker, as games are largely dependent on the Seeker’s ability to both end and win the game. Luckily, Hogwarts Legacy currently has no plans to include the sport, and they should keep it that way.
6 Time-Turners Are Bad For Stories
The third Harry Potter book introduced magical time machines called time-turners and it was a big mistake. The implications of wizards being able to time travel are bad enough, but in a series where the protagonist was so deeply impacted by personal loss, easy access to time travel takes readers out of the narrative.
If Hogwarts Legacy wants to avoid players feeling like their story has no impact, they’d do well to steer clear of time-turners. As soon as time travel is introduced, players will wonder why they can’t travel back in time to fix any mistakes they’ve made or conflicts they’ve sparked.
5 Slytherin Children Are All Evil, Jerks, Or Both
No Slytherin student introduced in Harry Potter could be considered redeemable, and only one or two adult Slytherins are vaguely heroic. The only mention of Slytherin students doing anything worthwhile comes from an interview with J.K. Rowling where she pretended they fought in the battle of Hogwarts, even though she had her chance to include that detail in Deathly Hallows but decided against it.
Hogwarts Legacy is set to feature students from all Houses and allow players to choose their own Houses. If the developers want anyone to choose Slytherin, they’ll have to fix the flatly unpleasant depiction of the house from the books.
4 Major Villains Are All One-Dimensional Bigots
Broad, unsympathetic villains are acceptable in children’s literature. However, since Hogwarts Legacy has been rated Pegi 16+, it may need to create more complex villains than Grindelwald and Umbridge to satisfy an older audience.
One-dimensional depictions of bigotry often leave out the most insidious nature of real bigotry. Just because a character isn’t trying to spearhead genocide doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous or governed by unconscious prejudice. Hogwarts Legacy should either provide a more nuanced depiction of this real-world issue or exchange Harry Potter‘s full-blood supremacists for something new.
3 The Goblins Are Offensive Stereotypes
Since its initial release, Harry Potter’s depiction of goblins has faced some significant backlash. Critics of the series point to striking similarities between Rowling’s goblins and antisemitic stereotypes. Worse still, goblins are one of several races openly oppressed by wizards in the series, something no character seems to take issue with.
Hogwarts Legacy has already announced that its plot will center around a goblin rebellion, making this an especially poignant controversy to navigate for the developers. The Legacy team will need to put some serious thought into fixing the books’ mistakes with goblins if they want to avoid creating a flatly offensive game.
2 Harry Potter Suffers From A Concerning Lack Of Diversity
In this time and age, viewers deem it very important to see proper representation in media. Whether it is through good racial representation or a healthy portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters, projects without good character development in this area barely make it.
Hogwarts Legacy is already in the middle of a controversy due to J.K. Rowling’s comments on the trans community. The game needs to try its best to make it up for the author’s bigotry. It could do this by offering diverse characters in the game’s narrative as well as the opportunity for players to completely personalize their character.
1 Most Wizards Are Okay With Slavery
Except for Hermione Granger, almost every character in Harry Potter is perfectly okay with the enslavement of house elves in their world. Worse still, the argument “good” characters like Hagrid use in favor of elf slavery is that the elves enjoy being enslaved.
Hogwarts Legacy is already drawing negative attention and planned boycotts for the way it’s using goblins. Portkey Games needs to tread carefully around the similarly racialized topic of house elves. Even if the game surprises fans by depicting the goblin rebellion in a positive light, players being expected to be okay with house-elf enslavement could and should overshadow anything else the game does right.
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