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Seriously, Though, How Can Hogwarts Legacy Not Have Quidditch?


Seriously, Though, How Can Hogwarts Legacy Not Have Quidditch?

Just let me hurl a bludger at some unknowing NPC!

Hogwarts Legacy gets a lot of things right when it comes to bringing a virtual rendition of the wizarding world to our screens and monitors. You can ride a Hippogriff; zip through Hogwarts valley on your broom; and finally live out your childhood fantasy of being filtered into one of the school’s four houses via a creepy, tatty talking hat. If you’re the naughty kind of witch or wizard, you can even Avada Kedavra everyone and scream it in a strained voice in your living room like that iconic Voldemort moment from the movies. And yet, despite all of the intricate details that line the halls of Hogwarts, the plethora of collectibles scattered throughout the world, the various classes you attend, and the spells you unlock, there’s… no quidditch?

Within the first hour or two of the game, in the first minute of your character actually taking their seat in the Great Hall, the headmaster exclaims that the quidditch season is canceled due to an injury in the previous year. You can say it’s part of the story, that it adds to how strict and, in some ways cruel, Headmaster Black is, but it just reeks of a cop-out and a sense of trying to temper fans’ expectations early on instead of them hoping that it may pop-up as a side quest or optional activity further into your magical adventure.

quidditch pitch in Hogwarts Legacy
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Games via Twinfinite

May I remind you, Harry fell off his broom in the clouds, broke all of his bones, and the Quidditch season still continued in Prisoner of Azkaban.

If I sound passionate about this, it’s because it just perplexes me how one of the most iconic parts of the entire franchise, and the major sport of the wizarding world has been omitted for seemingly no good reason. To me, it’s like playing Fallout without Power Armor or playing a Spider-Man game without iconic villain cameos. A FIFA or Madden title with only half of the best teams in the world. An Elder Scrolls game without horse arm-… in fact, a bad example.

You can even fly around the Quidditch stadium at Hogwarts as part of your broom flying lessons, but actually, play the sport. Now, don’t be ridiculous.

Discussing it with my fellow peers at Twinfinite, and arguments were made that it would have to be a really deep side activity to do it justice. But may I remind you all, ladies and gentlemen, that we are in the year 2023 and the PlayStation 1 game based on the first movie, released in 2001 with that very memeable Hagrid and Draco Malfoy, managed to include three separate quidditch matches for players to enjoy.

Sure, it was a very basic, Snitcher-focused experience, but much like how Hogwarts Legacy is vastly more expansive and improved in its rendition of Hogwarts and wizarding life at the school, so too could it have built upon these very blocky foundations of the magical world’s favorite pastime.

Another, more Slytherin-esque potential reason for its omission is that Quidditch is planned to be part of some post-launch DLC. There are signs I’d argue the point of this as well.

The fact it’s so quickly noted at the beginning of the game as not being a thing during your character’s fifth-year studies. The inclusion of the Quidditch arena is so beautifully renditioned when other iconic locales like the Whomping Willow are absent.

The note that can be found from the ever-arrogant Imelda Reyes about how she hopes Professor Kagawa can help convince Headmaster Black to lift the Quidditch ban and she’ll continue training in the hopes that it does return.

Even the use of the Golden Snitch as the icon for Spintwitches Sporting Needs on the map of Hogsmeade, or the cabinet filled with Quaffles and Bludgers taunting you inside. Yes, you can argue all of this is world-building and it wouldn’t be the same without it… but it feels like it’s also drawing more attention to the elephant in the room.

quidditch cabinet in Spintwitches Sporting Needs
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Games via Twinfinite

I get it, developers need to find ways to part us with more of our hard-earned money beyond the $70 entry fee, but there are lines that should not be crossed. The same line that a now notorious horse armor once crossed.

I’d argue that Quidditch — something that, really, should be included in the core experience of any game in the Wizarding World franchise —  being part of paid DLC, isn’t just tip-toeing over the line. It’s leaping over it, turning around, and proceeding to obliterate the line until it’s obscured into an even murkier area of our beloved hobby.

If Hogwarts Legacy was a complete mess of a game, then perhaps the absence of the sport wouldn’t be so noticeable. Sure, it relies on a lot of open-world tropes dressed up in magic to pad out the main questline, but it does also capture the sense of mystery and wonder of attending the now-iconic school.

But you know what would have made for even more interesting padding to that main story quest than flying through some very Quidditch-looking goalposts in a mundane time trial? A bloody good Quidditch season!

If Quidditch is, indeed, post-launch DLC, I’m sure it’ll make a lot of money for the developer, and likely be a great ol’ time for those that do buy it. But is that really a precedent we want to set? That iconic, beloved elements of a franchise can be ripped out of the core experience and shoved behind a paywall? I hope I’m wrong, but my head tells me I’m probably not.

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