The highly-anticipated videogame Hogwarts Legacy, developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is set to be released in just a few days on February 10, 2023. The game, written by a team of writers, will take players on an adventure through the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The team behind the game used the books as a base and inspiration, and they tried their best to be consistent with the established lore. However, it is important to note that the game was not written by J.K. Rowling herself, which raises the question of whether or not she considers the game to be canon within the Harry Potter universe.
It is important to remember that J.K. Rowling’s approval of a project or product does not automatically make it canon. In the past, Rowling has approved and promoted other projects and products that she does not consider canon. The Harry Potter movies, for example, have been approved and promoted by Rowling but have been known to have certain inconsistencies with the books.
The best way for J.K. Rowling to show that she considers the videogame Hogwarts Legacy to be canon would be for her to include events or characters from the game in an upcoming story that she has written. If Rowling were to reference the game in her own works, it would be a clear indication that she considers it to be canon. An other way for J.K. Rowling to consider it canon is to state it explicitly, as she did with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We reached out to J.K. Rowling’s PR team on this matter, but they declined to comment. Without a statement from the author herself, it is difficult to determine the official stance on the game’s canonicity.
Nonetheless, we have already hypothesised this on the latest issue of our magazine (January 2023, #73). Since the first videogame of the Harry Potter franchised was released, the canon of the books has been shaken due to the large amount of information coming from third parties. In our article The Hierarchy of Canon we have classified the different products of the Wizarding World and the author’s declarations into different levels; the data provided by Rowling to videogame makers is considered a low level of canon.
In conclusion, while J.K. Rowling’s approval of the videogame Hogwarts Legacy is exciting news for fans, it remains to be seen whether she considers it to be canon within the Harry Potter universe. Only time will tell whether the game will be acknowledged in her own future work, or if she explicitly states it, and if it’s not, it will remain as an alternative storyline for fans to enjoy. However, as of now, we can only wait and see what the author says about it.