E3 2013: Microsoft apologizes for rape joke made during press conference

Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference on Monday included a live demo of Killer Instinct, its upcoming revival of the fighting game series originally created by Rare for the launch of the Xbox One console. However, the live demo was marred when two employees engaged in some banter on stage that was basically an attempt at a rape joke.

During the demo, a male producer of Killer Instinct was playing the game against a woman. At one point, the woman said, "I can't even block correctly, and you're too fast. The man replied. "Here we go. Just let it happen. It'll be over soon."

Many who watched the demo were offended and thought that the words were scripted. CBS News reports that, in a statement from Microsoft, the company at first said that the comments made on stage were not scripted and that there was "no ill intent" when they were made.

Later, Microsoft flat out apoligized for the statements. Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer is quoted as saying:

Yesterday, during the Xbox E3 briefing, one of our employees made an off the cuff and inappropriate comment while demoing 'Killer Instinct' with another employee. This comment was offensive and we apologize. At Microsoft, being open and respectful with others is central to our code of conduct and our values. Bullying and harassment of any kind is not condoned and is taken very seriously. We remain committed to make gaming fun for everyone, and in that effort, we must lead by example.

Killer Instinct will be released as a digital download for the Xbox One launch. The fighting game will be "free-to-play" with just one character available at launch, with the ability to add other characters for additional fees.

Source: CBS News | Image via Microsoft

Neowin's E3 2013 coverage is sponsored by Alienware

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In this politically correct society we live in now, you have to watch everything you say. I don't have a problem with what he said, but I can see where others may have. Same as making comments that the gay and lesbian community panic about. Certain words that I grew up with, is deemed disrespectful by their community. We should all just be mindful of our surroundings now. Never know who's listening.

Some people got their panties in a twist on Twitter and MS has to apologize and we get another Neowin article. Give me a break.

This is really bad PR for MS... out of all the things they could have apologized for they picked this non topic? ... Now it just looks pathetic.

Ubisoft was making dirty jokes all night!

Well, if this is how low the bar is for what counts as offensive, "big dongles" should've resulted in a public hanging rather than just a tweet.

That's typical internet trash talking, maybe a little bit in bad taste, but I wouldn't call it a "rape joke". It's a little creepy though thinking about it in that context, but who added that context? I'm guessing people who aren't familiar with trash talking. But you never know I guess, maybe the person who he was saying it to had actually been raped. That would definitely feel ****ty.

Well geesh if he had to apologize for a rape joke, then he should have at least said "Just be lucky you aren't bent over a table with your hands tied"

God the world has gone crazy if people get offended. The people who get offended obviously dont play these games cus i bet theres a lot worser stuff said in voice chat. If they were getting into the game, stuff just gets said without thinking.

Well, given the juvenile remarks heard over XBL multiplayer across the board, where 30-year olds talk like 12 year olds, and perverts, it won't hurt to apologize before it becomes an issue.

Within the gaming world, yeah, I see how it would most likely be taken.

MorganX said,
Well, given the juvenile remarks heard over XBL multiplayer across the board, where 30-year olds talk like 12 year olds, and perverts, it won't hurt to apologize before it becomes an issue.

Within the gaming world, yeah, I see how it would most likely be taken.

No, this was pathetic and nothing to do with being juvenile or not. Apologising makes them look like they agree with the TINY amount of people who complained.. Who I'd like to point out, probably complain every minute they get a chance about everything they see. Losers. They have nothing good in their life.

It has to do with the realities of sexism in online gaming. The article says many, not tiny, but even a few is enough. I think they did the right thing in apologizing. The people who drive normal well adjusted people away from online multiplayer think there's nothing wrong with their behavior as well. Good that Microsoft is a little more intelligent than that.

the one that should apologize its sony, the way that they "raped" microsoft in its conferences was priceless.

time to rollback they did it with w8.1 now do it on xone

I don't accep Microsoft's apology.

Because no rape joke was made. No inappropriate comments were made. It is an embarrassment that anyone took this as anything but the exact words they were. She was getting beaten at a videogame and he told her she may as well give up. How dare these morons accuse that man of making rape jokes to that woman. How DARE they. He probably feels like utter **** now. I'm sick of this pathetic human race. On one hand we have cruel, selfish, evil nasty people doing ****ed up things and on the other we have over the top unintelligent freaks looking to take a massive pop at anyone doing anything they can twist as wrong. You know what? If the woman had said it, not one ****er would have batted an eyelid... So no, I do not accept any apology as a member of the public and I would NOT have apologised had it been me in charge. In fact I'm sure you can imagine what my statement would have been.

What a bunch of B-U-L-L. What rape joke? Extremely subjective to say that little trash talk was a rape joke. Seriously. There is NOTHING to apologise for about this (save the apologies for XB1's DRM).

Maybe it was sexist that one of the players selected a female character to receive such a pounding? I mean, doesn't that condone domestic abuse? /s

Rape?! Seriously? All of a suxdem we are getting toichie about a phrase? That coukd be taken so many ways and you choose to take it the worse way? WTH is wrong with people? I am sure it was a women who was offended. Uet if a man cheats on a women she will say he dwserves to die. How am.i suppose to accept that.

Apologize...really? All kf a sudden u can say words or phrases bec everyone is carry there heart on theeir shoulders. Who got offended needs to have some sense slapped into them.

And they need to just shut up and let kt happen. And no I wont apologize.

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