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Hogwarts Legacy: release date, trailer and everything we know about the Harry Potter RPG

Hogwarts Legacy
(Image credit: Warner Bros/Sony)

Hogwarts Legacy, the Harry Potter RPG, takes place in the Hogwarts of yesteryear. And it lets you create your own legacy at the school for "witchcraft and wizardry," as a new student with all sorts of decisions to make.

This game takes place a long time ago, so you may not see as many familiar faces as you'd like. But who needs them when you've got a trip to the sorting hat, classes and much more? There even seem to be masked baddies. Unfortunately, the game's not getting the best publicity right now, as a new controversy about someone behind the title has emerged.

Here's everything we know about the Harry Potter RPG, including release date window and its trailer.

Hogwarts Legacy release date

It turns out we muggles will have to wait a little longer for our own Hogwarts Legacy to begin. As shared from the official Hogwarts Legacy twitter account, the game will now come out in 2022, so that the studio can give "the game the time it needs." 

That's industry talk for "we need to make sure it's not a buggy mess, where the jokes about how unstable it is become bigger than the game itself," as happened with Cyberpunk 2077.

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Originally, as we learned from the first trailer at the Sony PS5 event confirmed what was already reported by  Bloomberg, Hogwarts Legacy was to come out in 2021 (Bloomberg specified as late 2021). The game was expected to make its public debut in summer 2020 at E3, but that event was cancelled.

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In that Bloomberg story, Jason Schreier confirmed the Harry Potter RPG's existence with two people currently working on the game — which is being developed by Avalanche Software, a Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment-owned studio.

Hogwarts Legacy trailer

While the Hogwarts Legacy trailer does not confirm if the game is a PS5 exclusive, it does show off how you'll be engaging with all of the magical beasts you can point a wand at, take classes, cast spells and engage in your own drama with other students. It even appears that there's a masked student up to no good, or it could be a mean-spirited clique.

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Hogwarts Legacy gameplay

We didn't see any gameplay today, but we have some details from the original rumors of the Harry Potter game. These may have changed, as they date back to 2018, when (since-taken-down) video of a very early version of the game was posted to Reddit. According to Variety, the clip included a character creation scene, and visuals of your young wizard exploring Hogwarts' Great Hall. 

There was also standard RPG fare, including creating potions and casting spells. Players can also choose their alignment — good or evil — which likely affects your abilities or list of available spells.

Back when that footage spilled out onto the internet, BBC writer Lizo Mzimba said that the game was going to be called "Harry Potter" Magic Awakened," and that "Harry Potter: Magic Forever" was also considered.

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Hogwarts Legacy on PS5, Xbox Series X

The Bloomberg report claimed that the Harry Potter game is being developed for multiple platforms, including the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It sounds like other consoles (such as the current generation PS4 and Xbox One) or the PC are the other possible places where Mr. Potter's broomstick may land. 

Hogwarts Legacy controversy

While Hogwarts Legacy's troubles started with having to explain J.K. Rowling wasn't a part of the game's production (more on that below), things got even worse for fans excited for the game. Journalist Liam Robinson posted a Twitter thread explaining that Hogwarts Legacy's lead designer used to run a YouTube channel dedicated to far-right content. One video is entitled "In Praise of Cultural Appropriation" and another is focused on the "Social Justice Ten Commandments."

According to the Bloomberg report that confirmed the Harry Potter RPG's existence, there is some discomfort within the studio over the public stances taken by Potter author J.K. Rowling. The writer's gotten in hot water for a lot of her online comments regarding transgender men and women, including last December when she voiced support for Maya Forstater, a tax specialist who was fired for transphobic language.

If you haven't seen them for yourself on Twitter, Rowling's comments have infuriated many in the transgender community. These statements have led Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to publicly explain they disagree with the author. 

According to Schreier, "The situation made some members of the team uncomfortable and sparked private discussions among staff over the pandemic water cooler, the workplace communication app Slack."

This could, the article notes, dampen the potential success of the game, as fans have voiced an intent to no longer support all things Harry Potter or anything connected to Rowling. The Bloomberg article notes that Rowling has "very little direct involvement" with the game.

More recently, what appears to be an olive branch was leaked. A Bloomberg report stated that gamers will be able to adjust the body type and voice of their character, to make the game more trans-inclusive. An NBC News report shows that some trans gamers think this is barely enough to make amends.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.