ex-Microsoft employee: They spent billions to shift the market, create a “dudebro” culture

Daniel Cook used to work at Microsoft and he has exposed how the company has tried to create a certain section of gamers.

Commonly known as dudebro culture, people usually associate these gamers with Call of Duty, Halo, Gears and violent games like that. According to Cook, it was Microsoft that tried to shift the market by spending billions on “a highly cynical marketing team”.

“You got the sense the pre-Xbox, gamers as bros was a subculture within the nerdy hobby of games,” he wrote on his Google Plus page. “Over two console generations, a highly cynical marketing team spent billions with no hope of immediate payback to shift the market.

“Nintendo was slandered as a kids platform, not a leading light. Xbox put machismo, ultra-violence and chimpboys with backwards caps in the spotlight. Wedge, wedge, wedge. Gamers were handed a pre-packaged group identity via the propaganda machine of a mega corporation. For those raised post-Xbox, this workplace was the unquestioned birthplace, the Mecca. Dude. They made Halo.”

The management also rejected non-violent game pitches, he reveals. In his words, they found cuteness revolting. However, when you consider games like Viva Pinata and the likes and also the effort the company put into Xbox Live Arcade, something doesn’t fit.

“Still it was a challenge being in an group that knew intellectually they had to reach out to new people while at the same time knowing in their heart of hearts that just adding more barrels to a shotgun was the fastest path to gamer glory,” he revealed. “Talking with others in the larger organization would yield a sympathetic look. ‘Someone has to deal with those non-gamers. Sorry it has to be you. Bro.'”

“We made adorable hand drawn prototypes and watched them climb through the ranks only to be shot dead by Elder Management that found cuteness instinctually revolting.”

This is kind of an expose and also something that you can’t completely blame Microsoft for, but it is interesting nonetheless. Microsoft’s next console is yet to be announced but they look to be shaping the future of the industry again.