If You're Mad About Hogwarts Legacy, Hold J.K Rowling Accountable

We've reported on how J.K Rowling antis have called for a boycott of Hogwarts: Legacy, but what about the rest of the gaming industry? Do we have a responsibility to stop buying titles from any developer studios when they engage in morally reprehensible behavior or working with questionable people?

Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts: Legacy, one in many scandals. | © Portkey Games

Hogwarts: Legacy has received an unbelievable shitstorm because Harry Potter and the universe around it comes from the hand of J.K. Rowling. If you want to read more about it, you can do so here. But if you think about it, in this case, the developers have little to do with J.K Rowling, except that they used her world. So in the case of Hogwarts Legacy, if you want to hold somebody accountable, it's J.K. Rowling, not Portkey Games.

However, there's a lot more game developers out there who need to be held accountable too and while some of it has been addressed in the past, other instances have been swept under the rug. Let's be as loud with these problems as we are with J.K. Rowling.

Sexism, Discrimination & Abuse Of Power

In 1996, an employee, Jaques Servin of Maxis, developer of the famous Sims series, caused a now almost forgotten scandal. After a year without a vacation, he asked for a few days off, but his request was refused. He then built an Easter Egg into a game called Simcopter - two men appearing on the roofs and kissing. After the employee was fired, the community called for a boycott against all Maxis titles.

It continues with the relatively recent sexism scandals in large development studios such as Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard or Riot Games. Female employees are systematically paid less and are not protected from sexist attacks. Of course, they don't get any promotions either. The French studio Quantic Dream, known from Detroit become Human, is said to lead a corporate culture that is accompanied by discrimination and bullying.

Red dead redemption 2
100 hours a week is standard.. | © Rockstar Games

In light of such events, Jacques Servin's Easter Egg coup is therefore also an early symptom of a video game industry that is sick in parts. Even then, poor working conditions were pushing developers to their physical and emotional limits - and sometimes beyond. The dream job in the gaming industry, seen as a goal by countless hopeful young people, thus often ends in disappointment – and physical and psychological wounds that may linger for a lifetime.

Create Awareness

Of course, we all don't want to give up our favorite games, but I, at least, think that those people who create them should have the right to a job that doesn't drive them physically and psychologically into the abyss. You just have to deal with this fact and think about it, ask questions and discuss it. It's just like any other thing in the cultural sector. You can try not to buy games that you know were only possible with the blood, sweat, and tears of their underpaid, overworked staff, but sometimes a lot of things may not come to light.

It is up to us to tell the industry that this is also relevant information for us, as players and audience, under which circumstances a game was created and who and what is involved in the background. Games are an exciting medium and a beloved hobby for millions. The people who make them a reality for us deserve our solidarity and respect. After all, the Witcher game director promises that there will be no crunch at the studio while developing the new Witcher saga, so let's hope he can stay true to this statement.