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Controversial Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy Developer Quits


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Mar 9, 2021
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Although specific details about Hogwarts Legacy are still being kept under wraps by developer Avalanche Software, it is without a doubt that the upcoming game's core concept is something that Harry Potter fans have long been asking for. In its initial trailer, Avalanche revealed that Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG game set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However, Hogwarts Legacy soon found itself in the middle of never-ending controversies. It started with players campaigning to boycott the game due to its indirect association with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (who continues to draw criticism for making transphobic remarks), followed by the controversial YouTube channel of one of Hogwarts Legacy's developers, lead designer Troy Leavitt.

Although J.K. Rowling will forever be associated with the Harry Potter franchise no matter how controversial she chooses to be, the same couldn't be said of Leavitt, who has now confirmed his departure from Hogwarts Legacy and Avalanche Software. In a series of tweets, Leavitt confirmed that he decided to leave Avalanche Software, clarifying that he has nothing but good things to say about Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche, and WB Games. However, it is worth noting that his tweet did not specifically mention the exact reason that prompted him to leave. Leavitt added that he is in the process of creating a YouTube video about the whole incident soon, which will likely address his thoughts on the whole scandal and what pushed him to leave the development team of Hogwarts Legacy. For the uninitiated, Leavitt made headlines last February after Twitter user Liam Robertson, known for his collaborations with Did You Know Gaming, accused Leavitt of creating "anti-fem and pro-GG vids." In this context, GG is in reference to the Gamergate controversy, which saw its peak in 2014 and included a harassment campaign targeted primarily at Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, and Anita Sarkeesian. Browsing through Leavitt's YouTube channel, it is clear that many of his videos are about Gamergate and feminism in the video game industry.

Other videos include lengthy defenses for John Lasseter, the co-founder of Pixar, who resigned from his position in 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct. It remains to be seen how extensive Leavitt's forthcoming YouTube video will be and whether his departure was truly his own decision or if Avalanche and WB Games had anything to do with it. It is worth remembering that his recent tweet mentioned that he is in good spirits with WB and Avalanche, so this remains unlikely. At the moment, Avalanche Software and WB Games haven't directly addressed the issue. However, back in 2018, Leavitt confirmed that WB Games is aware of his YouTube channel, but "it didn't appear to be an issue for them." He also clarified in the same video that this did not mean the company is endorsing his beliefs. Leavitt described that the video game publisher is only concerned about making good games rather than pushing a social justice agenda.