AMONGST gamers and fans of Harry Potter, the upcoming release of the new game, Hogwarts Legacy, has been hotly anticipated for years, but an online anti-JK Rowling campaign is now underway to discourage sales of the release.


What’s happening?

Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming action role-playing game set in the wizarding world first introduced in the Harry Potter novels. A trailer was earlier this week released offering insight into the game, set in the iconic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Harry attends in the novels, but the clip reveals the game is set in a time period not seen previously - the 1800s.


Excitement has been building?

Fans of both the series of novels and also keen gamers have been desperately awaiting the game's release, with work on the project underway for at least the last five years. The game is to be released on February 10 on PlayStation, Windows and Xbox platforms, with later releases in April for the PS4 and Xbox One and then in July for the Nintendo Switch.


And it’s all about Harry?

One would have had to have been living in the depths of a Peruvian forest to not know about Harry - the focus of the seven-strong series of fantasy novels written by Edinburgh-based Ms Rowling, chronicling the lives of the young wizard and his friends, all students at the school. The novels have, of course, all been made into blockbuster movies, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.


So what’s happening?

Mother-of-three Ms Rowling has consistently been the focus of “cancellation" attempts since she first came under fire in 2019 for announcing her support for a researcher who lost her job for tweeting “men cannot change into women”. To mark the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, Radcliffe Watson and Grint reunited for a special TV show, “Return to Hogwarts", but Ms Rowling was left out. She has been targeted by trans activists, with one Twitter user saying they wished to put a “very nice pipe bomb in her mail box” and has had details of her address published online .


And now there is a campaign?

There is a push on social media by trans activists to stop sales of the game. One gamer, Will Overgard, championed the campaign to encourage people not to buy Hogwart’s Legacy with an online video garnering nearly 2m views so far, saying he was doing so due to “Joanne’s hateful ideals”. He said: "Please do not support the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy game...I'm asking you very sincerely, please do not stream it, do not make YouTube videos about it, don’t buy it and don’t pre-order it. The reason being is that you may not be aware that by supporting the title you are essentially aligning yourself with some really heinous transphobic values.”



The bid has gone viral, but some are questioning it. One gamer said: “You know what I find absolutely disgusting? The fact I know some trans people are having to hide the fact they will be buying and playing Hogwart’s Legacy from their own community, afraid of what will be done to them. Now that’s bigotry and hate."