Last year, Hogwarts Legacy developer Avalanche took the Harry Potter RPG away from series creator JK Rowling and her transphobic commentary. It will be more difficult to separate the game from lead designer Troy Leavitt, however, after finding out that the industry veteran is having a side gig as a pro-Gamergate YouTuber.
Friday, a series of tweets from contributor Did You Know Gaming Liam robertson gained traction by featuring a snapshot of Leavitt’s YouTube channel. Despite being inactive since March 2018, the channel has quietly gained more than 2 million views, largely thanks to videos criticizing feminism and social justice.
I know it’s just shocking, but the main designer of Hogwarts Legacy is Troy Leavitt, a far-right YouTuber who made anti-fem and pro GG videos: https://t.co/kDNm9ri9zH pic.twitter. com / w3dDy0YXe4February 20, 2021
In the follow-up tweets, Robertson claims he’s not trying to “undo” Leavitt. None of this information is particularly private, but he felt it was important to share it to help people make more informed choices about whether to support Hogwarts Legacy. The responses also summarize a video Leavitt made to defend John Lasseter, dismissing sexual assault allegations against the former Pixar boss – who left his post in 2017 in response to the scandal – and the broader #MeToo movement as a “moral panic,” while noting that Lasseter was “personally kind” to him during development of the licensed Cars 2 game.
With just under 26,000 subscribers, Leavitt’s channel is not overwhelmingly popular. But it’s not hidden either, with the designer still connecting to it in his Twitter bio. In a 2018 video titled “Bushnell Did Nothing Wrong,” he explains publisher WB Games was not only aware of his video release, but was completely distraught when he was hired at Avalanche.
“I’m happy to say that even though I disclosed my YouTube channel to WB Games, it doesn’t seem like a problem for them,” Leavitt said. “Not that they approve of what I said, of course, but at least they seem more concerned with making good games than pushing some sort of social justice agenda, so there is hope. “
For many, the legacy of Hogwarts was already tainted. Despite a Official FAQ Insisting that the story was crafted without input from Rowling, whose abrupt turn into transphobia shattered the love of many longtime Potter fans for the series, WB Games declined to comment when Kotaku asked if the author would receive royalties.
PC Gamer has reached out to WB Games for comment.