A scandal has erupted over on YouTube thanks to Microsoft and Machinima. igameresponsibly broke the story revealing that Microsoft and Machinima had teamed up with their content providers to offer cash incentives to content makers who featured Xbox One game footage in their videos, tagged it with XB1M13 and only spoke about the console in a positive light.
Both camps have broken their silence over the matter. Microsoft and Machinima released a joint statement together:
“This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December,” read the statement. “The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content. Any confidentiality provisions, terms or other guidelines are standard documents provided by Machinima. For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion.”
On top of this, Microsoft has also released their own statement to try and further distance themselves and make it look like this was all Machinima’s idea:
“Microsoft was not aware of individual contracts Machinima had with their content providers as part of this promotion and we didn’t provide feedback on any of the videos,” a Microsoft spokesperson said int he statement. “We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising.”
Deals like this of course happen all the time, though the perpetrators are rarely ever exposed. Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moves like these are actually illegal. It is unknown at this time if the FTC will go after Microsoft and/or Machinima for this scandal.