Hogwarts is now welcoming transgender witches and wizards — in a video game, at least.
Hogwarts Legacy "will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type and gender placement for the school dormitories," reports Bloomberg.
Sources told the outlet that the video game, set for 2020 release, also lets users choose a masculine or feminine voice regardless of the character's body type. The user can then select either “witch” or “wizard,” options that determine dorm placement at the school and interaction with other characters.
Hogwarts Legacy will be an open-world game available for multiple consoles. The synopsis: "Experience a new story set at Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Make allies, battle Dark wizards and decide the fate of the wizarding world."
The inclusive character creation is in response to transphobic remarks made by J.K. Rowling, the author of the popular children's fantasy franchise, in 2020. Several developers at Avalanche Software, which produces the game, were reportedly "rattled" by Rowling's bigotry, reports Bloomberg, which made them push for inclusive changes and a possible transgender character in Hogwarts Legacy.
Avalanche Software was also roiled by controversy in February when Troy Leavitt, a senior producer, expressed support for Gamergate and attacked progressive causes in a series of YouTube videos.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., the game's publisher, has not yet responded to the news. As of the time of this article's publishing, reactions on social media were largely positive to the inclusive news, which some saw as sure to infuriate Rowling. Others pointed out that the author will likely still profit from the game sales, which renders any developmental protest moot.