This article is about comics, of course, but it has a lot for games folks to consider as well. The bottom line is that giant corporations like Marvel (and EA, and Ubisoft, etc.) don’t do anything for you – they do it for money.
That means a few different things. It means that the people who “love” some of the companies and “defend” them any chance they get are misguided, because a corporation can’t receive your love and doesn’t need your defense. It is not your friend, and it will throw you under the bus the very second you cease to be profitable. It also means (and this is the focus of the article) that when these companies take a step in the right direction in terms of diversity or social justice, they are not generally taking some high moral stand – they have simply made a calculation that untapped consumers and good P.R. will result in more profits. This is important to note for both the social justice crowd and the (bizarre) anti-social justice crowd. The former shouldn’t get too caught up in praise and the latter should understand it’s all just business decisions.
I’m generally not a cynic, but when it comes to mega corporations, we should all have a healthy level of cynicism – because they certainly do. Game companies have shown, perhaps better than any other entertainment sector, that they are willing to do anything and everything to squeeze every last dime out of consumers, and they don’t give a single drop of shit how many of your hopes and dreams they have to crush along the way. I’m not saying they’re “evil,” but they’re certainly amoral, and will never care about you as anything more than a walking wallet. It’s time we stopped treating these things like trusted friends and benefactors. We are locked in an adversarial relationship with these corporations; we should be fighting for our every right and need and giving no quarter – not preemptively capitulating to every demand because we really liked Super Metroid as kids.