Xbox double down on pledge to focus on diversity so all gamers can play as their ‘authentic selves’
Diversity, inclusion and accessibility are all key to the Xbox strategy, according to the head of Xbox Studios publishing.
In an interview with Polygon, Peter Wyse reiterated that inclusivity is a core tenet for Xbox, both within its games and beyond.
Anyone who watched the Xbox E3 presentation and its wealth of forthcoming titles can see the importance of diversity, with new title Redfall standing out in particular for its cast of heroes.
And with so many of its games coming to the Game Pass subscription service – as well as titles available on the Cloud away from expensive consoles – accessibility and consumer ease are clearly top priorities for Xbox.
“You can see this come to focus in a game like Tell Me Why,” said Wyse. “We’re super proud of that game. It speaks to our values around LGBTQIA+ representation, mental health awareness, and more.”
Tell Me Why was a landmark game as the first AAA title with a trans protagonist. Just recently Xbox made the game free to play as part of its Pride celebrations, along with charity donations, themed merch, and Pride controllers.
Support for the LGBT+ community is set to continue.
“Gaming is a big part of the lives of many LGBTQIA+ players and it’s important that we celebrate everyone who plays,” said a Microsoft spokesperson to Pink News.
“At Xbox, we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for all members of LGBTQIA+ communities to experience the joy of gaming and we are championing content that represents all of today’s players. We will continue to do our part to ensure that everyone can play as their authentic selves and feel empowered and represented throughout the industry”.
According to Wyse, diversity and inclusion extends to Xbox partners and recruitment too. For instance, Xbox has a partnership with Gameheads, a technology training programme that supports low income youth and youth of colour in finding employment in the games industry.