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Microsoft And Machinima Have Officially Commented On XB1M13

iGR: "As of now, you're likely aware that we broke news over the weekend of a new promotion to promote Xbox One on Youtube's Machinima channel. At first, we thought it was business as usual, but later details proved that the dealings were somewhat covert in nature.

When we reached out to Microsoft for further clarification on the matter, we were given a joint statement from Microsoft and Machinima,"

Update:

Microsoft has provided a new, non-joint statement on this matter. It seems to further imply that the covert nature of the promotion was Machinima's doing.

"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. 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.” – Microsoft spokesperson

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xHeavYx1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

It's not a "typical marketing partnership" when you hide the fact that you pay to people to say neutral or good things about your console. They are acting like they didn't know what Machinima was doing? Yeah right, Machinima probably got a good chunk of $$$ to take the blame.

"confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion"
Sure, whatever sounds better

NewMonday1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

they mean typical for them..

MS: yes we've been doing this a while, so what?

dedicatedtogamers1309d ago

Yep.

This is a normal response for Microsoft.

"We got caught. Watch my left hand as I make...this...disappear! Poof! Controversy gone, please?"

Maybe this is what Major Nelson meant when he wanted the internet hate to go away (because we'll pay you a few shekels to make the hate go away...)

guitarded771309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

It's out in the open now, but did any of us really think this stuff wasn't going on in the background?

I'm also sure they have plants online that go to the defense of their respective product in comment sections on forums just like this. I see comments from some that there is no other explanation for.

The funny thing is those who said this crap was going on were labeled conspiracy theorists or paranoid.

Go look at some major sites, and see how they are not critical of some, but very critical of others. They are paid, paid, paid.

dedicatedtogamers1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

The unfortunate thing for genuine Xbox One fans is that this is going to turn people against you (not that Xbox One fans get a lot of love on the internet anyway...)

This bribing, combined with Microsoft's confirmed forum-astroturfing during and after the X1 reveal, just makes everyone else suspect of people who are pro-X1. Whether it's right or not, whenever someone seems to be a bit TOO pro-Microsoft, it is naturally going to bring up the thought "are they paid"?

Instead of saying "Sony Too™" or "What's the big deal?", Xbox fans should be even MORE outraged since this is going to turn the gaming community against any Let's Play-ers or commenter or...anyone who says positive things about X1.

Death1309d ago

How is it no one took issue when Sony passed out PS4 consoles and other swag to journalists at their New York event prior to the PS4's launch? Some of you think the possibility at getting $3 is worth more than a $400 console not to mention the other stuff journalists walked away with.

Charybdis1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

Typical as they see it as standard practice.
"The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content."
-So guess this is done by Machinima

"Any confidentiality provisions, terms or other guidelines are standard documents provided by Machinima." -Machinima should make these standard documents public

"For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion"
-make it clear its advertised promotion, especially for people who might not recognise its advertisement purposes

xHeavYx1309d ago

@Death
You forgot to add Sony Too™
There is a difference between giving away consoles and forcing a contract that says "you can't talk negatively about our console/games"
You'll understand once you take your blinds off

bryam19821309d ago

poor Microsoft :-( things are really that bad that you have to pay for people to say they like xbone thats sad

Kayant1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

@Death

"How is it no one took issue when Sony passed out PS4 consoles and other swag to journalists at their New York event prior to the PS4's launch?" ---> Am pretty sure that was public knowledge -> http://www.lazygamer.net/24...

And also * Pre-release product issued to IGN by Sony for review* - ScottLowe.

Not to add that IGN said negative stuff about it in their review ---> http://uk.ign.com/articles/...

Difference here is this is supposed to be completely hidden from the public so no it's no way near the same thing.

"Honestly, how many people are out there selling their integrity for a shot at $3?" ---> You would be surprised ---> http://neogaf.com/forum/sho...

Death1309d ago

@xHeavy,
Safe to say you were never a journalist or reviewer. You obviously have no idea how the system works. If you are objective about a product it's extremely difficult ot lose support from a publisher or manufacturer. Contrary to what many believe, they aren't trying to buy positive reviews. If you do decide to go off the deep end, that support gets yanked very quickly. With that said, if you are one of the new gen of "journalists" walking away with a substatial amount of product, how likely are you to lean towards a positive review?

Compare that to the $3 per thousand view Machinima offer that capped at $3750 total. The restriction according to the email is the review had to be positive or neutral. Why would Microsoft pay someone to bash their product? How many negative reports are out there? You really are making an issue of a non-issue.

Honestly, how many people are out there selling their integrity for a shot at $3?

TheGreatAndPowerful1309d ago

"Watch my left hand as I make...this...disappear! Poof!"

lolol

DragonKnight1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

@Death: Did you seriously ask how it's different?

I'll explain how it's different. One: That event was by invite only, not every journalist was invited. Two: Sony didn't hand out consoles for review to these journalists before this event, and plenty of them were b*tching about that very fact. Three: Once given the console for review, the journalists were free to review it as they wished, wherever they wished, and were NOT made to sign a contract.

What's happening with the MS stealth marketing is that MS were paying youtubers to say positive or neutral things about the Xbox One for money. And not only were they doing that, which shows fear in that their product must not be able to sell on its own merits, but they included an NDA in the contract agreement which is ILLEGAL per FTC regulations.

That's how it's different.

Death 2: They aren't trying to buy positive reviews? That's exactly what they did do. They paid people to say neutral or positive things about the Xbox One. How is that not actually paying for people to say good things about the Xbox One?

Here's my question to you. Why did Microsoft have to launch this stealth marketing campaign at all?

@Jokes: No way, you're sticking up for Microsoft? Wow, that's totally not at all expected and normal for you regardless of how illegal the move Microsoft makes is.

JokesOnYou1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

lol its youtube paid or not it's advertising, at the end of the day nobody is harmed here. This is not a independent journalist being paid to make inaccurate statements or give a professional positive paid review. If you see a pro xbox vid on youtube and it influences your purchase it's no different then a ad on tv that influences your purchase....smart consumers always research multiple sources for any costly electronics purchase, stupid consumers make kneejerk buying decisions because some guy on youtube, on a forum, on a blogg or some commercial said it was the best thing since sliced bread.

I do think micro should make it public that the youtube marketing is paid in this case for full diclosure/ to be completely transparent but again its not a nefarious illegal trick. I work in a company where I know our sales dept pay actual customers who gave positive feedback to write a favorable review. Its not like the company is paying them to say something they dont believe or tell them what to say...they simply are paying them to actually write their opinion so the company can use it to generate more interest/sales ads for its products. This is a business so I say Micro should continue paying anybody who WANTS to advertise for them for money, its always been perfectly legal to do so. If you happen to buy anything ONLY because a guy on youtube channel said it's great then its on you.

Phoenix761309d ago

@NewMonday

MS: yes we've been doing this a while, so what?

You forgot to add, #DealWithIt!

TheGreatAndPowerful1309d ago

bwahahhahaha I faking love this isht. Awesome start to a new gen. Sony outselling MS 2:1 just about every market and now this. :D Best gen ever.

GameNameFame1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

And I bet xbox fanboys comes in and say "everyone else does it i bet"

Lol. Xbox apologists.

EDIT @Jokesonyou

OMG you took the apologist level to another level.

Jokesonyou Apologist Lvl999999999

LOL. Are you that desperate? No. What your company doing is not "ok" either. They are not happening to just somehow give money to people who gave positive review. They are creating incentive cash payout for positive review. People would be reviewing would now purposely be reviewing positive for money. it is called bribe. Your company would be just cleverly blurring the line.

There was an idiot who said that he was going to pick that contractor anyways. He just happen to receive bribe as bonus. LOLOL.

Fez1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

@Death and @JokesOnYou

You guys are usually a breath of fresh air on this site; providing opposing views to the majority. But you're losing a lot of credibility by sticking up for MS with this.

If you guys are master trolls, I can respect that. But honestly defending MS on this I can't understand..

guitarded771309d ago

Just found these screenshots on Reddit. Screens show internal Machinima emails to partners about making money promoting various things.

http://i.imgur.com/5JAN558....

http://i.imgur.com/N1w7sX1....

http://i.imgur.com/jUNKIHJ....

Here is the full write-up from the source.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Gam...

Kryptix1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

@JokesOnYou

"its youtube paid or not it's advertising" lol Always taking the Microsoft apologist stand, do they pay you, too?

Here's what the agreement states:

http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv...

"You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video"

"You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement, including, without limitation, the Promotional Requirements, and the CPM Compensation, listed above."

It's not going to clearly be advertising because of that confidentiality part. Anybody including Machinima could of signed this contract, make a 30 second review of a game with zero negatives and you wouldn't know it was because of this contract.

...Since they can't say nothing negative, reviews will be extremely biased that you could end up buying an Xbox One game with many flaws and you can't blame Microsoft because you wouldn't know it was them that made the reviewers hide them.

It's business but it's shady business which further proves that Polygon might have been paid to be biased against Sony a long time ago with that $750,000 advertisement deal. Dishonesty isn't going to get people to buy their product once the bullshit gets exposed.

UltraNova1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

I hate this.

I've just unsubscribed from Machinima. If want a single-sided view of things I ll go buy the official Xbox or PlayStation magazine (even them would state some negatives for a game!!) not this under the table manipulating bullshit.

Blachek1309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

How is it that none of these Sony fanboys understand how a product endorsement works?

JokesOnYou seems to be the only person with intelligent insight.

In traditional media endorsement are used every day,

Mike Rowe puts his name next to Ford...
Betty White puts her name next to Snickers...
RG3 puts his name next to Subway...
Ron Jeremy & Jimmy Johnson endorse ExtenZe...
Lance Armstron endorsed Michelob Ultra...

Do you think that Subway is how RG3 made himself into a great athlete, or ExtenZe is what gave Ron Jeremy the distance in his glamorous career? They were paid to say something positive about a product, and put their name to it.

I work for a company where I get my on-air radio personalities extra money to endorse local businesses. This happens everyday, and is accepted.

People listen to those they can associate with, and when somebody puts their name to a product or service they are compensated.

Microsoft did this with popular uploaders on YouTube, this isn't out of the realm of normal.

Quit reaching, advertising is everywhere, get outside once in a while.

DonMingos1308d ago

Sometimes I wonder if some N4G members (like jokesonyou, Death, nukeitall, etc) aren't paid also by M$ as part of this strategy.

And even some sites like Polygon, Kotaku, Gametrailers...

It really makes me question that...

zaanan1308d ago

Disclaimer: I have not read TFA. That said, I have no trouble believing Microsoft was indeed unethical in this situation. Why? Because they have a storied history of bullying folks- competitors, vendors, manufacturers, and even customers in some cases. So even if they did no wrong here, their track record makes it easy to believe they did. If they are interested in erasing that negative image, they need to be completely open and transparent in everything they do. Obviously they are not, so their shady reputation continues.

Note: I am not absolving machinima, just saying Microsoft did themselves no favors by acting in a way that can easily be construed as shady.

dedicatedtogamers1308d ago

@ Blachek

Surely, for someone who works in the industry, you're aware that it is illegal to accept material compensation for your tacit endorsement and not announce that you're being endorsed, right?

Blachek1308d ago

@ Dedicatedtogamers

"Celebrity endorsers also are addressed in the revised Guides. While the 1980 Guides did not explicitly state that endorsers as well as advertisers could be liable under the FTC Act for statements they make in an endorsement, the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action challenging the allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act."

^ ftc dot gov

I'm not saying that Microsoft did is praise worthy, but having not watched the videos in question and reading only the article itself with the comments, I can see that there is a strong bias against the act itself.

+ Show (21) more repliesLast reply 1308d ago
HardcoreGamer1309d ago

i really hate Microsoft, its dishonesty that pees me off.

who would want to be constantly lied to and slander and deception. eff that

wynams1309d ago

agree and voting with my wallet.

Shiny new PS4 to go along with my PS plus thru 2017, PS Vita and PS3 systems.

I show sony them monies

jackanderson19851309d ago

you realise Sony has a history of astroturfing (it's what this MS/Machinima is all about) from everything from their playstation devision (PSP on youtube with that awful "all i want for xmas is a psp) their movie divisions, their tv divisions, their phones divisions... practically every divison they have they've done some of sort of astroturfing.

hell just google astroturfing and you'll find a long list of companies who've engaged in similar practices to MS/Machinima

as House always said Everybody Lies

DragonKnight1309d ago

Don't forget you have to add SonyToo™

scott1821309d ago (Edited 1309d ago )

^^
Making a viral advertisement with someone singing about a psp for christmas is not the same thing as paying reviewers to play their games and post "positive or neutral comments"

The viral ad for the PSP was not a review of a product! Microsoft paid people to have certain opinions of a product.

Not the same thing at all.

Kryptix1309d ago

@jackanderson

Right, since everyone does it, let Microsoft have a pass.

Sounds the same as, "since the NSA already spies through your smartphone and webcam, let Microsoft have a pass with the Kinect."

lol You Xbots never change.

Of course corporations and companies have been astroturfing since forever but this Machinima thing opens the doors for everyone to participate and then only have positive opinions to say for the love of money. Microsoft exactly knows that greed and money controls the masses so how about throwing some money to feed the sheep. It's an intelligent move but one that I'm against since this could be the beginning of corporations buying out pretty much everybody to falsely review their hardware and software.

Stop being blind for once and know how this can effect the future. Now we have to careful to who's being honest and who's not.

H0RSE1309d ago

I put more blame on those who participated, not MS. Going with what is stated above about the agreement:

"You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video."

"You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement, including, without limitation, the Promotional Requirements, and the CPM Compensation, listed above."

- Seeing the obvious shady nature of these terms, if a person where to read them and still agree to them, who is really at fault here? It's like rigging a boxing match. People approach the fighter with a plan, and tell him he will make a lot of money if he throws the fight. He agrees, but gets caught, the difference being that in this case, the boxer is the one in the spotlight taking all the blame, not the people who set the whole thing up.