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Controversial Hogwarts Legacy Developer Leaves Project

Troy Leavitt, the producer whose conservative views stoked controversy, has left Avalanche Software.
Troy Leavitt, the producer whose conservative views stoked controversy, has left Avalanche Software. | Photo courtesy of Avalanche Software/Portkey Games

Troy Leavitt, the Hogwarts Legacy senior producer whose YouTube channel provoked controversy last month, has left his job at Avalanche Software. He will no longer be working on the game.

Leavitt announced his decision to leave Avalanche on Thursday, stressing that the decision was his and not one forced onto him by either Avalanche or publisher WB Games.

"I have nothing but good things to say about the game, the dev team, and WB Games," he wrote.

"I'm in excellent spirits and very pleased with my relationship with WB and Avalanche."

Leavitt came under fire for several of the videos on his YouTube channel in which he expressed antipathy for feminism and social justice. Specific videos included defenses of Pixar co-founder John Lasseter, who left his job at Disney after allegations of sexual misconduct, and of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, who reportedly fostered a toxic work environment for women.

Leavitt also vocalized support for Gamergate, a movement of targeted harassment against women and other minorities in the games industry. Several of its victims were bullied out of the industry entirely. In a 2017 interview, Leavitt said Gamergate, "while painful at times, on the whole proved to be a good thing."

Leavitt will return to his YouTube channel to share his reasons for leaving his job at Avalanche.

News of Leavitt's departure arrives after reports that Hogwarts Legacy, despite its association with original Harry Potter author and known anti-transgender bigot JK Rowling, would allow players to create transgender characters in-game. The player's choice of body type, voice, and assignment to the witch or wizard dorms will all be independent of one another.

Hogwarts Legacy is set for release in 2022.