To kick off the new year, we’re shining a spotlight on some of the biggest and most anticipated games of 2022 across all platforms and genres, today looking at Avalanche Software’s Hogwarts Legacy. We’ll be looking at its complicated journey so far, from early leaks, to the J.K. Rowling controversy, to rumors that the game might be coming out of hibernation soon. Here’s everything you need to know about Hogwarts Legacy, including story, known gameplay elements, and release date info.
Hogwarts Legacy, an open-world action RPG set in the Wizarding World, has had one of the strangest development roads that the public has been privy to in quite some time. From extremely early and detailed leaks, to the massive controversy surrounding series creator J.K. Rowling, to the game going almost completely radio silent following its official reveal, the project is fascinating for a multitude of reasons – not the least of which being that it actually looks pretty damn good.
It’s wild to think that our first look at the game came from a leak over three years ago back in October 2018. The leaker took offscreen footage of a trailer they were shown at a mall via a random survey – which just seems like a bad idea altogether. The footage showed sweeping shots of Hogwarts, an in-depth character creator, and concept art of different creatures. It would be another two full years before we got official confirmation of the game, which was eventually titled Hogwarts Legacy.
Hogwarts Legacy was officially revealed during a September 2020 PlayStation Showcase just a few months before the launch of PlayStation 5. The trailer confirmed many of the details from the leaks, with the game being an action RPG developed by Avalanche Software, the studio behind the Disney Infinity games, for a release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S. It’s set at Hogwarts in the late 1800s, where you create a fully original character who’s attending the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The trailer highlighted attending classes, casting all sorts of spells, and visiting plenty of familiar locations on the school grounds and even further out.
While the initial plan was for the game to release sometime in 2021, that changed relatively quickly. Exactly one year ago today, the studio took to the game’s official Twitter to announce that Hogwarts Legacy would be delayed out of its initial window, instead coming sometime in 2022 – hey, that’s this year!
Aside from the pandemic, a big part of Hogwarts Legacy going silent for over a year has been the ongoing controversy around the transphobic and hateful views of Harry Potter creator and author J.K. Rowling. A bulk of other creatives involved in the franchise obviously disagree with Rowling’s views – actors have spoken out against her statements, Rowling was notably absent from the recent 20th anniversary special aired on HBO Max, and Avalanche as a whole has made attempts to distance itself from the franchise’s creator. For a more in-depth look on the whole matter, including why it’s tough for someone to reconcile their love for the world and characters she created with a complete and utter disgust of her views, check out this piece I wrote in 2020 after the game’s reveal.
Hogwarts Legacy certainly isn’t the first game set in the world of Harry Potter. In fact, games have been around for pretty much as long as the series itself – from movie tie-ins, to one-off Quidditch projects, to a pair of stellar Lego games. Over the past few years, most of the games have gone straight to mobile, including match-three puzzlers and Niantic’s take on a Pokémon GO-like. There was also news recently of an MMO from EA that was canceled during development in the early 2000s.
While it’s very possible that Hogwarts Legacy is quite a bit further along than many imagine, it still has to clear a pair of hurdles. One obviously is the aforementioned Rowling controversy, and the other is publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s packed slate for the rest of 2022. This includes WB Montreal’s Gotham Knights, Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and Traveller’s Tales’ Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This isn’t factoring in whatever NetherRealm Studios is working on, as well as the recently announced Wonder Woman game from Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith Productions.
Despite some false rumors and predictions that the game would show up at any of the major game events throughout 2021, the entire year went by without any updates on Hogwarts Legacy. That said, new reports of a possible PlayStation Showcase sometime in early February have caused more rumors to pop back up. It’s also possible that Warner Bros. is trying to time the next promotional beat with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third film in the prequel series that’s currently slated for theaters on April 15, 2022. The folks at WB Games and Avalanche have an unfortunate uphill battle ahead of them in regards to combating Hogwarts Legacy’s negative reception, so I’m very curious to see what form the next showing of the game will take.
That’s everything you need to know about Hogwarts Legacy — check out the full list of our biggest, most anticipated games of 2022 (or beyond) for more insights: