In a move that, presumably, has more to do with the extensive (and expensive) vagaries of game development than any specific desire to add a few more turns of the clock to the local “X Days Since J.K. Rowling Said Some Toxic, Transphobic Shit That Makes Our Game Look Awful” sign, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced this week that upcoming Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy has been delayed until 2022. The highly-anticipated-by-people-who-aren’t-completely-Fantastic-Beasts’ed-out-at-this-point game is being developed by Avalanche Software under WBIE’s Portkey Games label, and is expected to be a wide-ranging open-world-style game that allows players to explore the shit-strewn hallways of Hogwarts at their leisure.
Given that it’s been nearly a decade since the Harry Potter franchise released video games that weren’t either mobile-based, Lego-based, or weird AR potion-making titles, anticipation has been running fairly high for Hogwarts Legacy, ever since its first trailer was released head of the launch of the new console generation last year. In the statement announcing the delay, WBIE didn’t go into much detail about the decision, only noting that “we are giving the game the time it needs,” a not incomprehensible goal in light of how much bad publicity CD Projekt Red picked up for itself for the buggy state it released Cyberpunk 2077 in late last year.
And, of course, there is the whole Rowling issue lurking at the back of everything. The game’s developers took the rather bold step, last year, of making it extremely clear to fans that the author was not involved in the game’s creation in any way (besides it taking place in her imagination, obviously), and tacitly requesting that any blowback directed at Rowling for her various TERF-forward horseshit of late not be pointed at the game itself.