Warner Bros. has confirmed that its highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy game will launch in holiday 2022.
The release window was given during a new PlayStation State of Play presentation, in which 14 minutes of new gameplay footage were revealed.
Developed by Avalanche Software, Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world, action-RPG that lets players create their own wizard or witch, a fifth-year newcomer to Hogwarts in the 1800s. From there, you’ll get sorted into Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff and attend various classes, including Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions and Herbology.
The larger story focuses on the player character, who holds mysterious magical abilities, as they work with Professor Fig to investigate a mounting goblin rebellion. Since the game is set in the 1800s, characters like Harry Potter won’t appear, although Avalanche promises some “familiar faces,” such as Nearly Headless Nick pre-head injury, will pop up.
Outside of all that, you’ll be able to explore Hogwarts’ grounds, including the castle and courtyards, as well as surrounding areas, like Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest. Brooms and Hippogriffs will be available to traverse the outdoor areas. As you explore, you’ll meet new students who can become Companions, who will teach you new spells and unlock their own story threads in a system that is reminiscent of Persona.
Gameplay-wise, Avalanche is promising “dozens” of spells, including Accio, Incendio, Confringo and Reparo. You can also use magical beasts in combat, such as a Mandrake to scream at enemies and stun them.
Outside of the gameplay footage, members of the Avalanche development team offered some commentary on their approach to the Wizarding World. You can see that towards the end of the State of Play.
Hogwarts Legacy is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox consoles and PC.
The game is set to release during a polarizing period of Harry Potter fans. Over the past few years, including as recently as last week, series creator J.K. Rowling has come under fire for making repeated transphobic comments. Many have argued that what Rowling is saying is misinformed and harmful, especially as hate crimes towards trans people have risen around the same time. Many of the principal Harry Potter film cast have also condemned her comments. Warner Bros., for its part, has said Rowling has a right to her opinions and that she’s not directly involved in the making of Hogwarts Legacy.