Hogwarts Legacy Designer With Controversial YouTube Past Leaves Studio

Troy Leavitt had made videos supporting GamerGate and defending ousted Pixar boss John Lasseter.

Game developer Troy Leavitt, who was serving as lead designer on Hogwarts Legacy, has left the project and developer Avalanche Software after coming under fire for his controversial YouTube channel. Though he hadn't uploaded anything recently, videos including content criticizing "social justice" and defended former Pixar boss John Lasseter after he was accused of sexual harassment.

Troy Leavitt, a designer working on Hogwarts Legacy who has come under fire for controversial videos criticizing "social justice warriors" and defending ousted Pixar boss John Lasseter, has left the project and developer Avalanche Software.

In a series of posts on his Twitter, Leavitt said he resigned but still felt "secure" in his position prior to leaving and maintains a good relationship with Warner Bros. and Avalanche Software. The revelation that he had previously run a YouTube channel with videos espousing anti-feminist views and defended someone who had been fired after allegations of repeated inappropriate behavior in the workplace may have contributed to his decision.

His announcement came shortly after it was reported that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy will let you customize your character to be transgender. Body types and voices are not linked, allowing greater player-choice, and you can choose to be either a witch or a wizard regardless of these decisions, according to the report from Bloomberg.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has found herself at the center of controversy after repeatedly making transphobic comments. Warner Bros. distanced itself from Rowling last year, saying she wasn't directly involved with the game's development. Her comments on transgender people have drawn sharp criticism, including claiming that opening bathrooms to trans women will make cis women less safe. Harry Potter star Emma Watson, made her own opposition to those views known on her Twitter account a short time after Rowling published an essay on the subject.

Hogwarts Legacy, originally planned to release this year, has been delayed to 2022. It will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

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