So, Did the Hogwarts Legacy Boycott Work?

Avalanche Software
Credit: Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers 4

Avalanche Software
Credit: Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers 4

With the release of Hogwarts Legacy has come a legion of controversy, and many folks out there decided to boycott the release of the game in an attempt to stand in solidarity with transgender people, considering Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's longstanding views on trans and LGBT people.

So, Hogwarts Legacy has come out. It's here. Now, the question has become, did the boycott actually do anything? In this article, we're here with answers about how effective the Hogwarts Legacy boycott really was.

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Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers

Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers
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Credit: Avalanche Software

Put simply, in terms of sales, Hogwarts Legacy is a smashing success. It's the most successful Harry Potter game to date; sales are up 80% for Hogwarts Legacy over Elden Ring from last year; and Hogwarts Legacy even broke records for the most streams of a single game with 1.28 million concurrents.

That's not even to mention Hogwarts Legacy, a fully single-player game, peaked at nearly 900,000 concurrent players on Steam, putting it behind just Cyberpunk 2077 in terms of purely single-player games. We don't have all the numbers and figures about Hogwarts Legacy's performance just yet, but it's safe to say that the game has been a resounding success.

In all likelihood, Legacy will likely be one of if not the best-selling game of the year, and either way, it's almost certain that we'll see post-launch content for the game, DLC, or an outright sequel come eventually. Considering its success and its strong fan and critic reviews, by almost every metric, Hogwarts Legacy wasn't particularly negatively affected by boycotts going on.

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However, it's also fair to say that the conversation about Hogwarts Legacy, J.K. Rowling, and her position on trans issues certainly brought a lot of awareness to the cause, and many streamers and people online have banded together to donate to LGBT and trans charities in the wake of Hogwarts Legacy's release.

Inevitably, more people now than ever before have been made aware of exactly what J.K. Rowling's positions are that probably didn't know too much about them before, and in the eyes of many different activists on the internet, that's a win in itself, albeit not necessarily the best outcome.

So, while the boycott wasn't particularly effective at slowing sales of the game, it did certainly start a conversation and move issues center stage. But what does a successful boycott of a popular game even look like?

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Boycotts and Video Games

Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers 2
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Credit: Avalanche Software

The thing with big, popular, mainstream video games is that boycotts aren't usually effective in major ways.

The fact of the matter is that an online movement against a video game that's likely to sell millions and millions of copies across the world just isn't ever going to have the reach necessary to meaningful impact a game of that size. No matter how many people complain about Call of Duty, for example, the next Call of Duty game will still sell extraordinarily well.

However, people protesting mechanics or practices within games has a better track record. For example, lootboxes became such a controversial thing in mainstream AAA games that publishers and developers have significantly cut down on their implementations in games.

Plus, even if a particular movement against a game might not make nobody buy it, sales numbers not meeting oftentimes extremely ambitious goals also can have a downstream effect on whether or not a game gets a sequel or how many resources are funneled into post-launch content.

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Ultimately, though, if you're looking for good examples of a super popular AAA game generating controversy and then instantly being forgotten about because nobody purchased it, well, these are extraordinarily rare instances, if we can say they even happen at all.

What's Next for Hogwarts Legacy?

Hogwarts Legacy by the Numbers 3
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Credit: Avalanche Software

In reality, likely everything is possible. Be it post-launch updates, full-fledged expansions, or simply a sequel, there's almost no chance that we won't see at least one of those come to pass, considering how successful the game's been.

Some speculate that game developers themselves may think twice before choosing to work on Harry Potter-related media, but of course, that remains to be seen, and it's unlikely a major publisher working on popular IP would ever have much trouble staffing positions at a studio.

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In general, it seems like the controversy surrounding Legacy has massively died down, and it's probably gone for good now. Though, if there does end up being a big expansion or a sequel, these too will probably generate controversy and get some folks online to boycott them.

However, as we saw with the launch of Hogwarts Legacy, these movements probably won't do much to stop this game (and IP) from succeeding.

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