The game about teenagers learning magic at a 19th-century wizard school is a big hit—and seriously bloody.
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In case there was any doubt, Hogwarts Legacy (opens in new tab) is a huge hit: Publisher Warner Bros Games announced today that the wizarding world adventure sold more than 12 million copies in just two weeks, adding up to $850 million in revenues, 280 million hours played, and more than one billion dead Dark Wizards.
“We are so thrilled and proud to see the player response to Hogwarts Legacy from gamers, fans who are new to gaming and reviewers around the world,” Warner Bros Games president David Haddad said. “Our development team at Avalanche delivered an amazing, high-quality Wizarding World experience that truly fulfills the fan fantasy of life at Hogwarts and our publishing teams have executed a globally impactful launch campaign.”
According to Variety (opens in new tab), Hogwarts Legacy players have grown more than 393 million magical plants, brewed 242 million potions, and “defeated” 1.25 billion Dark Wizards. I find that last statistic especially interesting: Like any school, Hogwarts can be a bit rough-and-tumble at times, but that’s a hell of a pile of bodies to drop, especially for a game based on a series of children’s books. Morgan Park noticed the same thing (opens in new tab) earlier this month, saying his teenage wizard-in-training was “snuffing out half a dozen lives on the way to Potions class.”
It’s the nature of many videogames to be violent—”There’s a clarity to eliminating pieces off the board,” as Morgan put it—but even so, the level of violence in Hogwarts Legacy comes off as just a wee bit incongruous to me. It’s one thing to act in self defense, but another thing entirely to just smash the everloving shit out of some guy because he won’t move over on the stairs.
(I don’t know what actually sparked this fight but man, that is one brutal beatdown.)
Two weeks after its release, Hogwarts Legacy is still doing major numbers on Steam. It’s lost a bit of ground and been surpassed by new darling Sons of the Forest (opens in new tab), but still holds the number six spot on Steam’s Top 100 (opens in new tab) with a peak concurrent player count of nearly 237,000. “The engagement is spectacular,” Haddad told Variety.
“We are very pleased with the initial launch and see a bright future for our other platform launches,” he said.
The success of Hogwarts Legacy comes amid pushback against the persistent transphobia of Harry Potter creator JK Rowling. As we noted in our analysis of the controversy (opens in new tab), Rowling published an essay in 2020 that was called “inaccurate and cruel” by LGBT media watchdog GLAAD and widely refuted by experts, and since then has continued to campaign against the legal and social acceptance of trans people. As a result, many have chosen to boycott all Harry Potter media, including the game.