JK Rowling has become a controversial figure in recent years. I’ll spare you the entire list of anti-LGBT behavior, but suffice it to say she has spoken against transgender rights and become intertwined with anti-gay and anti-trans groups in the UK, as well as tweeting support to an anti-abortion activist. If you care about any of that, you might wonder: Does JK Rowling make money off of the video game Hogwarts Legacy?
JK Rowling Makes Money off of Hogwarts Legacy: Here’s How
We don’t know the exact amount of money she makes or exactly when or how the money is acquired. Lesser-known authors get very limited compensation for adaptations of their works, but JK Rowling is known to have some of the best royalties and fees for adaptations due to the popularity of Harry Potter.
For most authors that get an adaptation, there’s an option (a small fee paid to license the option to possibly make a film or TV show in the future), there’s an actual rights purchase once the project is ready to be made, and from then on the author makes no direct money from the adaptation regardless of its popularity.
However, JK Rowling has enormous leverage to get better payment and is believed to make tens of millions of dollars per year just on royalties, including theme park activities, merch sales, book sales, movie sales, and probably game sales.
When Rowling was underwhelmed by Disney’s plans for the Hogwarts theme park, she simply went to Universal and got a bigger and more lucrative theme park made. Due to the popularity of Harry Potter, she doesn’t have to settle for bad deals.
Even if we pretend JK Rowling makes no ongoing royalties on Hogwarts Legacy, in most rights deals you have to buy out royalties, meaning you pay up front what you think royalties might be, but don’t have to pay royalties in the future. The royalty-free rights to the Hogwarts IP for a game would inevitably cost tens of millions of dollars at minimum, meaning there’s a direct line from people wanting to play Hogwarts Legacy to her earning money.
So yes, JK Rowling does make money off of Hogwarts Legacy. It’s up to you if that worries you or changes your mind about buying the game.