The upcoming Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy will allow players to create transgender characters, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The title, which is due to launch in 2022, will let players customize the voice and body of their character, letting them choose a masculine or feminine voice irrespective of which body type they select.
They'll also be prompted to pick between entering Hogwarts as a "witch" or "wizard" -- with that choice determining which dormitory they are placed in at the magical school.
It's a notable addition that was apparently fought for by members of the dev team, who were reportedly taken aback by a number of comments made by franchise creator J.K. Rowling that are widely viewed as transphobic.
Bloomberg, which claims to have spoken with "people familiar with the game's development," indicates the addition of a more inclusive character creator was initially resisted by management, but will now be featured in the open-world action RPG thanks to the efforts of the Avalanche team.
The reaction to the news, on social media at least, has been mixed. Some have praised the move, but note the situation is still messy given Rowling's inexorable involvement with the billion dollar franchise.
Others have suggested it's a PR smokescreen that doesn't go far enough, pointing out that publisher WB Games has refused to outright denounce Rowling's views, and questioning whether the title will have actual in-game consequences for those who choose to play as a trans character.
The news comes shortly after Hogwarts Legacy became embroiled in another controversy, with journalist Liam Robertson recently revealing that Troy Leavitt, a senior producer at developer Avalanche, has made a number of anti-feminist and pro-GamerGate YouTube videos.