Microsoft to Sever all Ties With Youtube User KSI

At Xbox One’s launch show, popular YouTube User KSI performed on stage to eager fans of Microsofts newest console. However, this caused a lot of anger from some consumers, as shown by a question posed to Phil Harrison during GamesIndustry International interview after the event:

Q: I noticed you added KSI to the bill tonight, he’s part of the marketing push. There’s been a fair amount of pushback against his personal brand after some of his behaviour in public, some of his misogynistic attitudes. For example, he’s been banned from all Eurogamer events. I can understand why he might be engaged as he’s so popular among gamers, but I think there is an inherent message that that sends to gamers, particularly female gamers. Is that not going to push them away from the brand? Is this simply a matter of not being aware of his reputation?

Phil Harrison: I’m not familiar with the concerns you’ve raised so I’d love to understand that better, I’m happy to take that offline.

The main problem that seems to be had is that KSI’s image is a negative one for the Xbox brand, with many people citing a removed video of the user where he acts rather sexist and stupid around women at Eurogamer Expo. This is the reason why he has been banned from the event for life.


Some people have even taken the matter further by posting up their own videos to discuss the matter of KSI’s character and involvement with Microsoft as seen in this video by VideoGamer’s Mett Lees:

This video has raised even more issues and fans, as well as many others, were quick to point out that KSI is a character, the real user is nothing like this at all and should not be judged as a person on this basis.

Due to the rising fights and complaints, Microsoft saw it fit to release the following statement:

“At the Xbox One launch in London last night, KSI performed a song with three other artists, which was one part of a ten-hour event featuring a main stage show, Xbox One gameplay, and a midnight launch for hundreds of our fans. This does not represent Microsoft’s endorsement of KSI’s personal views, and we are not planning on working with KSI in the future.”

KSI’s manager quickly made a detailed reply which can be summed up in this paragraph:

“KSI is a character of JJ or Olajide, a young man with great humility and politeness and far from the character portrayed in the Eurogamer video…it’s a shame this past indiscretion his been brought up as we had addressed it and KSI wants to move on from it. I don’t feel it’s right to judge someone based on an indiscretion which was pro actively removed and apologised for shortly after. Especially at such a young age. That’s not saying it was right, as JJ acknowledged it was wrong at the time and does again now.”

With over 4 million subscribers, KSI has a massive fanbase which is sure to be annoyed by these developments. Arguments about whether it was right for Microsoft to drop him due to past accusations of sexism will most likely continue for a while, something that may be dangerous for his career in the long run. 

But what do you think? Have Microsoft done the right thing? Or was it just to stop more public outbursts?