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No Jokes Allowed: Microsoft forbids April Fools Day pranks

No Jokes Allowed: Microsoft forbids April Fools Day pranks

Microsoft is putting a stop to April Fools pranks this year.

It’s coming up on the end of March, which means consumers and us writers alike are bracing for a storm of April 1st jokes hitting the news. But it looks like Microsoft is pulling its punches this year, refusing to take part in the ridicule.

An internal memo written by marketing chief Chris Capossela, obtained by The Verge, calls on workers to ignore the informal holiday. Capossela believes that April Fools jokes cause the company, and industry, more harm than good.

"It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts,” said Capossela. “Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.”

"Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day."

There are sometimes some proper laugh-out-loud reveals on April Fools day, sure. But I can’t imagine Microsoft is alone in thinking the day’s a little played out at this point.


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Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and Pocketgamer.biz, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 GamesIndustry.biz 100 Rising Star list.

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