Xbox sparks backlash after swapping Pride Month logo for burning fires of hell

Gaming giant Xbox has divided opinion after swapping its Pride Month logo for a hell-themed one in support of newly released game Diablo IV after just a few days.

June hailed the start of 2023’s Pride Month, which means just one thing; it’s time for every company under the sun to wheel out their rainbow logos to either show support for the LGBTQ+ community during a time when queer lives are under attack more than ever, or feign it for a few short days.

Normally, brands and celebs display their rainbow-washed offerings all month long, from Dr Martens to Adidas, with even Peppa Pig enraging bigots – but it seems that the social media intern at the Microsoft-owned Xbox may have missed the memo with a spectacularly mistimed logo swap.

The new logo was posted in support of Diablo IV, an action role-playing game released 5 June which sees players battle countless foes and demons in the fictional world of Sanctuary. It’s, as the name might suggest, heavily hell-themed.

That’s why, despite updating their logo to one incorporating the progress Pride flag on 1 June, Xbox’s signature embossed 3D sphere was unfortunately updated to a burning hellscape just a few days later.

The unfortunate contrast between the two has not gone uncriticised among queer fans across social media, with many lamenting the noticeably short life-span of the Pride flag logo.

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“Xbox really said one day into Pride Month we showcased we care,” one user wrote.

Another added: “Lot of companies shifting logos REAL quick.” A third said: “We got a whole three days!!! Happy Pride, everyone. I’m so glad I’m on Steam now. These corporations really are just like the gays aren’t making as much money… next.”

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Bigots in the comments of the profile picture have conversely run riot with the change, writing that the updated logo is a “great metaphor” for “where Pride will take you”.

A second wrote: “Perfect image for Pride. And every other sin.”

In the time-honoured tradition of gay people on Twitter not being able to take anything seriously, few queer fans have managed to find the humour in the situation.

“It being fire themed is taking me outtttt like they’re really saying we’re gonna burn in hell,” one wrote.

Xbox recently announced an “ongoing partnership” with GLAAD to grow the number of queer characters in upcoming first-party Xbox titles.

“Representation is a vast and multifaceted topic: it can mean more LGBTQIA+ characters, more story moments featuring LGBTQIA+ themes, or even creating worlds LGBTQIA+ players can feel at home in,” Pav Bhardwaj, chief of staff of Xbox marketing, wrote in a press release.

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“For us, it includes empowering our LGBTQIA+ team members to create the kinds of change they’re hoping to see in our games and in the industry at large.”

Xbox have not, at the time of reporting, addressed their poorly timed profile picture change – though it’s possible that the Pride logo will reappear after Diablo IV‘s release campaign has finished.

PinkNews has contacted Xbox for comment.

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