Troy Leavitt, the Hogwarts Legacy Lead Designer who recently came under fire from the mainstream gaming press for having previously hosted an “anti-social justice” YouTube channel, has announced his resignation from the title’s development team.
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“I have made the decision to part ways with Avalanche Software,” Leavitt informed his Twitter followers on March 4th. “I have nothing but good things to say about the game, the dev team, and WB Games.”
He added that he would “be releasing a YouTube Video about this soon on my channel,” but as of writing, said video has yet to be published.
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Since the discovery of his now-defunct YouTube channel, which has not seen a video update since early 2018, numerous mainstream gaming outlets have disingenuously described Leavitt’s views as not only problematic, but outright dangerous, because they don’t ascribe to popular critical social justice beliefs.
For example, Brian Sinclair of Gamesindustry.biz took issue with Leavitt’s “pro-GamerGate, anti-feminist positions,” and despite admitting that the now-former Lead Designer was “one relatively unknown lead on a AAA game,” praised how the prospect of the “mob justice of cancel culture is preferable to no justice at all.”
Simultaneously, Sinclair also claimed that those outraged were merely “using their limited individual power to do what they can to make the world a better place.”
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Similarly, Polygon author Patricia Hernandez wrote that Leavitt’s YouTube was full of “far-right content” and took particular issue with Leavitt’s videos concerning the unfounded accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell and former Disney/Pixar CCO John Lasseter.
She described them as a blanket “defense of men who were accused of sexual harassment.”
Hernadez most ironically took issue with his video discussing “whether or not ‘thought crimes’ are a real thing.”
“Rowling, who is called a TERF by some critics — as in, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist — is controversial enough on her own that some have decided to not buy the game,” said Hernandez. “But Leavitt’s involvement has tipped the scales even further for some.”
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Despite his resignation, the attacks against Leavitt have not stopped.
Following his announcement, TheGamer Editor-In-Chief Kirk McKeand published a piece claiming that Leavitt’s exit from the Hogwarts Legacy team “highlights the art of the grift.”
In the article he preemptively and self-aggrandizingly presents his assumption that Leavitt “aims to become a martyr in the eyes of his supporters” and that his forthcoming video “will likely demonise games journalists as the root cause of his problems, rather than being used for introspection or to admit that his actions had consequences” as fact.
“Along with people like Shapiro, he will become another cog in the hate machine on YouTube, his videos revolving around the algorithm and reinforcing the beliefs of people who already watch similar tosh,” cried McKeand. “Either that or he’ll go the crowdfunding route and promise to lead development on a game “free of politics”, and the suckers will eat it up.”
Leavitt’s resignation is particularly disheartening in light of the fact that, as revealed in one of his videos, “even though I disclosed my YouTube channel to WB Games, it didn’t appear to be an issue for them.”
“Not that they endorse anything that I’ve said, of course, but at least they seem more concerned with making good games than with pushing some kind of a social justice agenda, so there is hope,” said Leavitt at the time.
What do you make of Leavitt’s resignation from the Hogwarts Legacy team? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!