It's time to talk about the elephant in the room.
A large troll holding a part of a tree trunk as a club is stomping towards a young wizard in a black robe. The wizard is holding a wand at the ready towards the troll. They look to be fighting in some sort of a dungeon with a couple of stone pillars.

As you are probably aware by now, Hogwarts Legacy was released into "early access" on Tuesday, February 7 for those that had pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition of the game. Priced at $70 (USD; $80 for consoles), this Deluxe Edition of Hogwarts Legacy gave players a three-day jump on their adventures and also offers some various in-game items. The standard edition of the game on PC is $60 ($70 on consoles).

As the official release date for Hogwarts Legacy isn't until Friday, February 10, this technically makes the game an "early access" release and is being considered as such by some analysts. According to independent market analyst Benji-Sales (via VGC), Hogwarts Legacy has quickly become one of Steam's biggest ever early access releases.

The data, as pulled from SteamDB, shows that the peak concurrent player count for Hogwarts Legacy coming up just shy of the 500,000 user mark. As of this publication time, Hogwarts Legacy has a peak concurrent count of 489,139 players. This brings it within striking distance of overtaking games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and even Apex Legends for most concurrent players.

Of course, the SteamDB chart there includes multiplayer titles in addition to single-player ones. If focusing on single-player only titles, Hogwarts Legacy sits in second place. It's situated just below Cyberpunk 2077 with its 1.05M concurrent player record, but ahead of Fallout 4's 472,962 concurrent player record.

Undoubtedly the player counts will go even higher when Friday rolls around and the game is released for everyone. Though at that point, it will be done making waves under the guise of an "early access" release. Naturally, none of these comparisons are able to be accurately made outside of PC, so it's impossible to say just how these titles stack up against each other on consoles.

Hogwarts Legacy is a game that takes place roughly 100 years before the events of the Harry Potter books. The author of the books, J.K. Rowling, has been rather fairly criticized for having strong anti-transgender views. This is why you see the term "TERF" applied to Rowling and Rowling's views. TERF standing for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist." It essentially means that Rowling, along with other TERFs, reject the fact that trans women are women. They also commonly work to slow, halt, or reverse the rights of all transgender people.

It is these vile views held by Rowling holds that have caused many to boycott Hogwarts Legacy.

Warner Bros. Games, the publisher of Hogwarts Legacy, claimed before that J.K. Rowling was not involved in the development of the game. While that may be true, it's hard to deny the fact that Rowling will financially benefit from Hogwarts Legacy, at least indirectly. With people seeing the game, seeing the sales figures, seeing news posts (including this one), and even seeing the reviews, it's not hard to imagine that Rowling will still benefit from Hogwarts Legacy. Eyes on this game mean that things like the Harry Potter books, media, and other related merchandise will increase. More sales of those items will put more money in Rowling's pockets. Whether directly or indirectly, Rowling and her transphobic rhetoric will benefit from this game.

I'm going to stop short of saying whether or not you should do this or you should do that when it comes to Hogwarts Legacy. What I will do instead is suggest that you consider donating to organizations and charities such as The Trevor Project, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Law Center, or really any organization listed on the GLAAD website.

Buy the game or don't. Donate to pro-trans organizations or don't. I'll say that "you do you" but I hope that the "you" in question is at least a decent human being. Very related: It's become painfully clear to me over the past few days that a lot of people on social media, Reddit, and especially the Steam Community forums for Hogwarts Legacy were never told "I'm not angry at you, I'm just disappointed" from a parent or guardian when growing up. Just so much disgusting vitriol. So very, very much.