Update: Microsoft has now officially responded to the complaints regarding its Xbox GDC party, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer telling The Verge: "At Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was not consistent or aligned to our values.
"It was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. I know we disappointed many people and I’m personally committed to holding ourselves to higher standards. We must ensure that diversity and inclusion are central to our everyday business and core values. We will do better in the future."
Original Story: In a news story beamed in straight from the '90s/early '00s, Microsoft has reportedly decided that the best way to represent its brand at GDC is to hire dancers dressed as "erotic schoolgirls," because apparently no one in the planning committee for this particular event had the wherewithal to prevent this clearly awful idea from being realized.
The dancers were reportedly present at a party organized by Microsoft for GDC 2016, with many attendees on Twitter reporting their disappointment at their presence. Twitter user Kamina Vincent, who attended the party, posted a series of tweets discussing the dancers, with her thoughts being echoed online by others at the convention, too:
Fuck you xbox & your fucking "dancing" girls who are here to talk to the boys (You're not men if you buy into that act) #GDC16— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
This is the first fucking time I've felt this unwelcome at a games event. I know it happens and it shits me.— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
I'm not blaming the women. They've got their job for whatever reason. But fuck you Microsoft.— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
Someone sent me photos and an OH: "we've got the best spot in the house don't we?" pic.twitter.com/Uh3p14yqMS— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
They're on elevated podiums above the dance floor pic.twitter.com/uIxVeSvkbe— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
Other attendees also began uploading photos and videos from the party, with some stating that they would be filing an official complaint with the company:
Sort of amazing how within 24 hours Microsoft hosted a women in games lunch, and hired schoolgirl dancers for a party.— Lewie Procter (@LewieP) March 18, 2016
With Microsoft being one of the biggest brands in all of gaming, it is thoroughly unacceptable and entirely baffling that they considered this an acceptable form of entertainment for their Game Developers Conference party.
Microsoft has yet to respond to the complaints regarding the event. We'll update this post accordingly if they choose to do so.