The Russian subtitles for the new Harry Potter universe video game Hogwarts Legacy have reportedly altered a lesbian character’s biography to downplay her identity.
In the original version of the action role-playing game released Friday, 19th-century archaeologist Nora Treadwell is heard referring to the witch Priya Treadwell as “my wife.”
The game's Russian subtitles however replace the word “wife” with “friend,” according to a screenshot tweeted Thursday by Nikita Likhachev, communications director at the Mail.ru Group tech giant.
It was not immediately clear if these were authorized Russian subtitles, as Hogwarts Legacy is not expected to hit the Russian market due to restrictions by major U.S. studios over the invasion of Ukraine.
It was also unclear if the move was done to comply with Russia’s new law banning the depiction of non-heterosexual relationships and identities in games, books, movies and other works.
Hogwarts Legacy is the latest video game to face apparent censorship of LGBT themes before reaching Russian-speaking gamers.
The marriage of two male centaurs in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight was instead characterized as the characters becoming “sworn brothers.”
Developer Electronic Arts briefly withheld the release of The Sims 4's “My Wedding Stories” game pack featuring a same-sex couple before reversing that decision days later.
The Treadwells are not the only LGBT characters in Hogwarts Legacy, which is set to introduce a trans character as well as a “trans-inclusive” character creator.
Hogwarts Legacy’s release was plagued by global controversy over accusations of transphobia against “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, who denies the claims.