Can Hogwarts Legacy just be delayed to 2023 already?
We highly doubt the Harry Potter game will launch this fall as planned. Here's why.
It took close to two years from Hogwarts Legacy's official unveiling till we heard anything noteworthy from it again in an impressive gameplay presentation. Kind of understandable, as the discussions about boycotting the game because of the connection to J.K. Rowling's universe had just kept building, something that didn't exactly help the hype-levels for it. That's probably one of the reasons why Avalanche Software has gone under the radar again after March's State of Play, which brings me to the headline's question.
Because I think Hogwarts Legacy only has the tiniest of chances to actually launch this holiday. Sure, we've seen fourteen minutes of gameplay, but considering how little that calmed the angry mob I'd expect to see more by now if it was set to come out in the next five months. Just look at Warner Bros.' other big release this fall: Gotham Knights. Trailers showing Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin have been pouring over us lately, and that game isn't out until October 25. Obviously, Warner Bros. might have a different marketing-strategy for the magic world, but I doubt they want to split its focus between these two games in a packed fall. The latter brings me to another reason why I think a delay is imminent.
Publishers usually like to spread out their game launches to both have a more stable income over time instead of a hoping for a major spike by releasing two major titles on top of each other and to avoid spreading their different teams thin. Releasing Gotham Knights that late in October has put Hogwarts Legacy in a very difficult position. Putting Hogwarts Legacy up against God of War: Ragnarök in November wouldn't be good for Warner Bros. itself nor something its partners at PlayStation would cheer about, so it's understandable that many think Amazon UK changing the release date of The Art and Making of Hogwarts Legacy: Exploring the Unwritten Wizarding World from December 31 to December 6 is a clear indication of the game launching on the same day. Maybe a smart move when the other major title coming out around that time basically is the complete opposite of a charming magical world: The Callisto Protocol. I'm not convinced, however.
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Very few games have become major commercial successes after launching in December. There are many possible reasons for this: millions of players have already spent all their money on Black Friday deals, most of us in the media have started focusing on our "Game of the Year" playthroughs and discussions, and more. Top that with Gotham Knights only being six weeks old by then and with that might have become somewhat overshadowed by other major games, and I think it's safe to say Warner Bros. would prefer to delay Hogwarts Legacy into the last quarter of this fiscal year (January through March 2023) to finish the year strong. Then why not announce it already? My theory is that Warner Bros. is trying to wait as long as possible before revealing a new date in fear of pushing Hogwarts Legacy straight into Starfield, Redfall, Forspoken, Resident Evil 4 and other titles that will make an already very difficult job of convincing the doubters/Rowling haters dang near impossible.