'Harry Potter' author JK Rowling has been plagued by threats and controversy since she suggested in 2020 that the phrase "people who menstruate" might simply refer to women
AFP News

"Hogwarts Legacy" continues to set sales records despite the controversy surrounding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The game already sold 12 million copies just two weeks after its launch.

Warner Bros. Games announced on Thursday that "Hogwarts Legacy" already sold more than 12 million copies in two weeks after its launch generating about $850 million in sales, according to The New York Times. Warner Bros. added that the title was the company's biggest video game launch.

The game was initially released for PS5, Windows, and Xbox X/S on February 10, 2023. It will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles on April 4, 2023, and for Nintendo Switch on July 25, 2023.

For comparison, one of 2022's most popular role-playing games "Elden Ring," also sold 12 million copies in roughly two weeks. It went on to sell more than 20 million copies in its first year.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, which serves as the basis for "Hogwarts Legacy," has been criticized for her comments on gender identity issues. It started when she liked a tweet that described transgender women as "men in dresses." Rowling also published an essay in 2020 that likened a movement of transgender activists to "seeking to erode 'woman' as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators."

While her views have been widely criticized as transphobic, Jefferies senior analyst Andrew Uerkwitz said that the debate on J.K. Rowling's views has driven awareness for the game and acted as free marketing, according to Los Angeles Times.

"Yes, there's been controversy ... but it doesn't take away from how beloved 'Harry Potter' and the 'Harry Potter' universe is," Uerkwitz said. "Based on sales and Metacritic scores and user scores, the game has met or exceeded the quality expectations."

And some gamers don't really care that much at all. "Dude, just play the game if you want to play it. I'm a trans girl. I love 'Harry Potter.' I hate J.K. Rowling," said Samira Early, who streams under the Twitch handle TheYishai. "It's a 'Harry Potter' game. It's about [expletive] wizards."