Making Sense Out of The Hogwarts Legacy and Atomic Heart ControversiesMar 23, 2023 | 1 Votes
Controversy is nothing new in the gaming industry. Blizzard has had workplace issues, Nintendo received a fair share of flak due to the joycon drift problems, and Sony was forced to allow crossplay after adamantly staying exclusive for years. Unresolved or otherwise, these may have affected how you enjoyed any of their games.
However, two recent games have overshadowed the rest of the industry’s problems in recent weeks. These are Hogwarts Legacy and Atomic Heart. Though highly rated, both games are in the spotlight for controversial issues, spawning online arguments and unpleasant cases of bullying and doxing. However, if you think about it, the base issues are warranted, but are the reactions necessary? Moreover, are you in the wrong for enjoying what these titles have to offer? Let’s try to make sense of everything.
The case against Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy is a game developed by Warner Brothers based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. As an avid fan of the books and movies (I’m legally a Potterhead), I rushed to the pre-order page on Steam, and so did millions of players. After all, it’s the first time in decades a developer made a fully explorable world based on Harry Potter, and there’s no way we’d pass up the chance to explore Hogwarts in detail. And yes, it’s a fantastic game; I daresay it’s one of the best I’ve ever played in terms of story and gameplay. Plus, it would make sense to say it’s a strong GOTY candidate, but this might be rather impossible due to external issues.
J.K. Rowling, the Wizarding World’s creator, made controversial statements about the transgender community. In turn, this has brought her widespread condemnation across the LGBTQ+ community, leading to widespread calls to boycott the game and the entire franchise. Though the reaction to her statements is harsh, it’s justified.
Plus, the game also received criticism for its portrayal of goblins. They say these fictional creatures look like a certain group of people and play to certain stereotypes. Quite frankly, I think it’s insane; I never thought about any of this.
What isn’t justifiable is the community’s reaction to people who played Hogwarts Legacy. Streamers who streamed the game were harassed, while detractors posted spoilers in threads across the internet to ruin the experience for those who want to experience what it has to offer. It’s insane and caused many streamers to stop their streams; a good example is Girlfriend Reviews. They were accused of being transphobic just for playing the game and brought distress to the wholesome duo. Moreover, these bullies also ganged up on Pikamee and Silvervale, two popular VTubers.
Honestly, it’s deplorable to see “activists” harassing other people for not sharing their views. I hope they know that harassing people online isn’t the best way to promote rights and ideologies. Quite frankly, they’re achieving the opposite of the desired effect and are antagonizing neutrals.
The case against Atomic Heart
Buying games will inevitably help terrible people who have done terrible things. Mundfish, Atomic Heart’s developer, is a victim of the circumstances.
Its head office is in Cyprus. However, the developer's origins can be traced to Russia. As you may already know, Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, are international pariahs, subject to sanctions and condemnation due to their war of aggression in Ukraine. Atomic Heart’s story also glorifies the Soviet Union, a regime that starved Ukrainians in the Holodomor. In turn, this has led to protests and calls for boycotts.
So, there’s a lot of history going on here. Mundfish has tried to distance its ties from Russia by boasting it has a multinational team of developers while also trying to promote a pro-peace platform. However, it’s also important to note that the company’s executives have ties to Russian companiescompany’s executives have ties to Russian companies linked to the Russian elite. With that said, we can’t help but ask: by buying the game, are we funding Russia’s war in Ukraine and validating genocide by glorifying the old Soviet Regime?
Playing them is fine, but the real-world issues will inevitably bother you
Overall, it all boils down to personal choice. Your purchasing decisions should be your prerogative. After all, you might genuinely just want to enjoy Hogwarts Legacy and Atomic Heart, and that’s fine. You shouldn’t let real-world issues bother you. However, it will still weigh heavily. Personally, I haven’t touched War Thunder (which is a Russian game) since the invasion, and I refuse to buy and play Atomic Heart.
Plus, it also doesn’t just cover political and gender issues; some people involved not just in games but also in movies have done truly terrible things. Should you continue supporting and enjoying their work?
This is a difficult question to ask and answer, but then again, it’s your moral prerogative.