Xbox drops flashy Pride controller to complement its paltry LGBTQ+ donation
The total contribution Microsoft will split across several LGBTQ+ organizations.
June is Pride month. As I write this, many multibillion-dollar corporations are rainbow-ifying their logos to reaffirm their support for basic human rights, as long as those who oppose them aren't too effective with their boycotts. (Capitalism, baby!) Microsoft is one of those companies, announcing its celebration of Pride earlier this week. The biggest announcement here is that the Pride controller that Xbox first shared last year will be available via the Xbox Design Lab on June 9.
That controller, which features 34 community flags from various LGBTQ+ organizations, is pretty damn cool. (We've also heard that it burns the puny hands of bigots that touch it, but we can't confirm that as of yet.)
However, when it comes to actually helping LGBTQ+ people, Xbox's contribution is less-than-impressive. It's giving $170,000 to organizations like OutRight Action International, African Rainbow Family, and the Lavender Rights Project. While that's better than nothing, a company like Microsoft can certainly do a lot better than that for its LGBTQ+ community. Also, would it kill you guys to pick a nice, round number for once? Not $175,000, or $200,000?
To be fair to Microsoft, the announcement also notes that the company has donated more than $8 million to queer-friendly organizations in the past year, albeit with the kicker "together with our employees" stuck in there. It makes you wonder just how much of that $8 million came from the company's workers rather than its own coffers, but $8 million is nothing to sneeze at.
Xbox's Pride announcement comes at a time when video game companies are treating "controversial" issues with caution. For example, PlayStation president Jim Ryan recently called for employees to "respect differences of opinion" on abortion rights in a company email.
Reporting from the Washington Post suggests that Spider-Man developer Insomniac told employees that parent company Sony ordered the studio not to issue a public statement in support of Roe v. Wade, though both parties did make donations to a pro-abortion group. Meanwhile, recent Sony acquiree Bungie continues to voice its support for abortion rights without apparent fetters.