Former Hogwarts Legacy lead designer Troy Leavitt offers an explanation as to why he decided to quit working on the game and leave Avalanche Software.
Last month, it came to light that Hogwarts Legacy lead designer Troy Leavitt had a YouTube channel where he published controversial videos, including some that expressed pro-Gamergate sentiments and another called “In Defense of John Lasseter,” which was about a former Disney executive who left the company after facing accusations of sexual misconduct. This resulted in some backlash online and not long after, Leavitt quit Avalanche Software and left the project.
Now Leavitt has provided more context for his decision to quit Avalanche Software and leave the Hogwarts Legacy project. In a video published March 12 titled “To My Friends at Avalanche,” Leavitt explained that the main reason for leaving Avalanche Software was due to family issues, though the YouTube controversy was what ultimately convinced him to retire. Leavitt said that the health concerns with his family worsened in February, prior to the controversy surrounding his YouTube channel.
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In the video, Leavitt confirmed that Warner Bros. Interactive did not pressure him to leave due to the controversy, but that he made the decision himself. He also announced plans to work in indie game development at some point as well as write fantasy novels. In his resignation latter, Leavitt said, “I leave with only the warmest of feelings towards both the Avalanche team and the WB organization,” and expressed his confidence that Avalanche Software is the right team to make Hogwarts Legacy.
Generally speaking, Harry Potter fans do seem to be excited for Hogwarts Legacy. It is the first triple-A Harry Potter game to launch since the formation of the Portkey Games publishing label, which has focused almost entirely on mobile games until now. An open world Harry Potter RPG is a concept that seems to be appealing to many fans of the franchise, and so it will be interesting to see if it lives up to the high expectations people have for it.
The game was originally supposed to launch in 2021, but Avalanche Software and Warner Bros. Interactive made the tough decision to delay Hogwarts Legacy to 2022. A specific release window in 2022 has yet to be nailed down, but the delay should go a long way in ensuring that the game does indeed live up to fan expectations, or is at least a more polished experience than it would have been otherwise.
This isn’t the first time that Hogwarts Legacy has found itself the center of controversy. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has made some transphobic comments that have seen Hogwarts Legacy as well as the Wizarding World franchise in general brought under scrutiny. Some members of the Hogwarts Legacy development team have even expressed their discomfort working on the game after Rowling’s comments. Here’s hoping that the rest of the game’s development is free of these kinds of controversies and that it’s smooth sailing to the 2022 release date.
Hogwarts Legacy is in development for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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