Skip to main content

Is J.K. Rowling Involved With ‘Hogwarts Legacy’?

Define "involved."

2019 RFK Ripple of Hope Awards NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: J.K. Rowling arrives at the 2019 RFK Ripple of Hope Awards at New York Hilton Midtown on December 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Alright, listen, it sounds like some of you are still on the fence about whether or not to buy Hogwarts Legacy. Obviously you’ve heard about the boycotts, and hopefully you know by now that J.K. Rowling is a huge transphobe. Maybe you’re crossing your fingers and hoping that this article clears your conscience so you can buy the game. Or maybe you’re someone who needs an article like this to send to your on-the-fence friends to explain why they shouldn’t. I dunno. Whatever your reason, I’m here to answer your question with a question of my own.

Would you define “involved” for me?

What level of “involved” are we talking here?

If you mean “involved” like, “was she involved in the game design or story?” then no, she was not. According to the frequently asked questions section of the game’s official website, J.K. Rowling herself was not involved with the conception of the game. “This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling,” the website reads. However, it goes on to say that the developers “collaborated closely with [Rowling’s] team on all aspects of the game.” I don’t know who exactly is on the team—whether it’s a veteran group of creatives who protect Rowling’s legacy with an iron fist or a bunch of unpaid interns—but you can bet that they’re financed by Rowling’s dollars (except for the interns, I guess). She didn’t pick up the pen herself, but she paid someone else to do so. She’s too busy writing mysteries about “successful but misunderstood” artists being harassed online for their controversial points of view. Sound familiar?

Rowling is not featured in the game’s credits, either. The good people at We Got This Covered watched them twice just to make sure. HOWEVER, we cannot say for certain as to whether or not she collaborated on the game in any advisory capacity. After all, she has done so in the past; the author was given a “Special Thanks to J.K. Rowling” credit in previous Harry Potter games. It’s possible that she DID in fact collaborate on the game, but that the publisher has chosen to omit this information due to the controversy surrounding her.

But here’s the thing: Involved or not, Rowling is still going to make money from this game. She owns the intellectual property that is Harry Potter, and so everything involving (word of the day here) Harry Potter also involves Rowling, financially. She gets a royalty any time anyone buys anything related to the Harry Potter universe. A hefty one. She makes millions in passive income every year. And considering that the video game industry is one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world AND Hogwarts Legacy is one of the most publicized games in the industry (for better or worse), it’s safe to say that she’s gonna make A LOT of money from it.

So really what it boils down to is whether or not you want to support the Rowling Legacy. When you buy Hogwarts Legacy, you’re still giving money to J.K. Rowling. You’re just paying her for work she didn’t do. It’s kind of like a rich kid letting his classmates use his expensive telescope for a group science project. He isn’t lifting a finger to chart the stars, but he supplied the equipment, and he’ll still take home an A+ grade despite having done none of the work himself. So do you want to give Rowling a gold star in the form of cash money? That’s for you to decide.

(featured image: Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: