Nintendo’s banned word list weirdly hints at Hogwarts Legacy

Nintendo’s banned word list weirdly hints at Hogwarts Legacy
Nintendo | Avalanche Software

Written by 

Tom Chapman


27th Jun 2023 16:56

Oh yeah, that wizard game is still coming to Nintendo Switch, isn't it? With a slew of delays, some of us weren't sure Avalanche Software would ever get to release Hogwarts Legacy. However, with its new-gen release soaring up the charts, most of us had forgotten by the time it released on PS4 and Xbox One.

We're told the Hogwarts Legacy Switch port is on the way, and even though some are convinced it'll be pulled, Nintendo's updated list of banned words suggests the House that Mario built is ready to raise its wands high in the air. 

Disclaimer: While the creator of the Harry Potter franchise was not directly involved in the creation of Hogwarts Legacy, their comments on social media around transgender people are hurtful and dangerous given the size of their platform. 

We’d implore you to read our explainer of the controversy so far, and consider supporting trans rights charities where possible.

Nintendo updates its list of banned words

Given Nintendo's family-friendly history, the gaming giant is pretty strict on its list of banned words. In February 2023, Nintendo added words like "groomer" and those relating to the Uvalde school shooting. Typically, words like "slave" and "KKK" have been banned, as well as homophobic slurs and spellings of Hitler.

Kotaku confirms the latest update is more of the same, with Hizzler and Titler making the banned list. Interestingly, the term "TERF" has also been promoted to being banned. An acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, "TERF" has become commonplace as a label for anti-trans supporters - particularly on Twitter. 

How this ties into Hogwarts Legacy is through Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Some deem the term as a slur, however, Rowling herself famously tweeted "Merry TERFmas" last December and is frequently branded one by her critics. Rowling's views are famously polarising, leading to threats of boycotts against Hogwarts Legacy

The game confirmed it would have transgender witch and wizard options, while it also included a transgender character. If Nintendo is banning "TERF," it could be a preemptive strike against the inevitable backlash that Hogwarts Legacy's Switch release will reignite.

When is Hogwarts Legacy coming to Nintendo Switch?

Hogwarts Legacy Switch
Click to enlarge
Nintendo | Avalanche Software

If Nintendo was sticking to its schedule, Hogwarts Legacy should be coming out on November 14. This is quite the jump from its original July release. As well as worries that the hype will have died down, there are also concerns about whether the Switch can handle the punch of Hogwarts Legacy.

Thankfully, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has proved it can run AAA games in 2023. Still, we've seen the likes of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor ditch their last-gen ports, meaning the writing is on the wall for Hogwarts Legacy. Weirdly, a list of banned words might've given us the glimmer of hope we need.

Then again, Hogwarts Legacy was missing from the recent Nintendo showcase and has been suspiciously quiet. At this point, there's a sense that the Switch port is simply releasing because it has to - has the magic run out or is this another Golden Snitch for Nintendo in 2023?

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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