A new Harry Potter computer game will allow for transgender characters after software developers working on the release were upset by JK Rowling's comments on gender, reports have suggested.
The Warner Bros game Hogwarts Legacy will reportedly allow players to choose a character's masculine or feminine voice, male or female dormitory access, and whether they are referred to as “witch” or “wizard”, all regardless of their physical features.
Harry Potter creator JK Rowling made comments on transgender issues last year which were claimed to be “transphobic”, and provoked a backlash from the film franchise's former cast members, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
Developers working on the game, due to be related in 2022, were said to be “rattled” by the author’s comments on gender and eager to add more inclusive features and transgender characters as a result.
According to reports by Bloomberg in the US, the title currently includes customisation features for characters players will control in a 19th century Hogwarts setting.
JK Rowling was the focus of outrage in 2020 after criticising the phrase “people who menstruate” being used in place of women online, warned against “erasing the concept of sex”, and raised concerns about activism silencing dissent on the issue.
Harry Potter star Radcliffe spoke out against the author, and apologised to fans of the Harry Potter franchise on her behalf, hoping its creator did not “taint” the books and films for devotees.
He was followed by other stars, including Watson, Rupert Grint, and Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne.
JK Rowling has contested allegations she is transphobic, and explained that her concern with these issues stems from her fears for female safety.
The author and game developers have been approached for comment.