Hello everyone. Before I get into the blog, I would like for you all, if you would, to go to youtube and put XB1M13 into the search bar and look at the results.
Done? Ok. Now, all of the videos you've seen that contain that tag and the word Machinima, or contain no gameplay videos, are videos talking about that tag. The rest of the videos that contain that tag and gameplay or Xbox One UI footage are all A)Morons (which I'll explain later) and B)Sellouts whose videos you shouldn't bother watching.
Why am I saying these things? Well, the answer to that question lies in the other videos that talk about that tag and Machinima. To give you the gist, Microsoft has partnered with the Youtube partnership group known as Machinima to buy positive press on Youtube.
How are they doing this? Well, rather than go into a detailed explanation on it, I'll simply link one of the videos that will explain it better.
Now that you've seen the video, and know about Microsoft's partnership with Machinima, let's get back to the A and B points I made earlier.
A)These people are morons. Why are they morons? Putting the tag XB1M13 in the title of the video immediately violates the contract they agreed to because it is exposing that channel as being part of the program and thus being paid to give nothing but positive coverage about the Xbox One. That's a no no as part of the contract agreement, and these sellouts will receive nothing.
B)These people are sellouts whose videos shouldn't be watched. The people partaking in this partnership have compromised themselves. Their opinions can't be trusted because they are bought and paid for. Every member of the Machinima network is a potential sellout and should be avoided.
So what's the problem here? What Microsoft is doing is just paid endorsements that we see professional athletes do all the time right? Wrong.
When someone does a paid endorsement for a product on television, it is a legal requirement that the consumer be informed that that individual is in fact being paid to endorse that product. When you see someone like Michael Jordan endorsing Hanes underwear, you can bet that somewhere (whether it be fine print, a fast talking voice, or whatever) there is information that that person is in fact being paid for positive coverage of that product. This is to prevent disingenuous or false advertising.
What Microsoft is doing is including a clause that states that no one participating in this program is allowed to say they are part of the program. Essentially they are trying to make it seem like these people are genuine in their endorsement of Xbox One when in fact they may not be and are only doing it for the extra $3 per 1000 views their videos get. This is disingenuous advertising and is illegal. Take a look at FTC guidelines for this kind of advertising and see for yourself.
What I'm taking away from this though is that Microsoft is clearly afraid. That they need to resort to paid positive press (alliteration FTW) on YouTube to sell their product shows a lack of faith in their product and that it can and will sell on its own merits. The basis of this fear eludes me as the Xbox One is selling pretty well at the moment, but this move just highlights the fact that Microsoft is A)Completely out of touch with pretty much every consumer base there is for the Xbox One (minus die hard blind fanboys who know who they are and will likely make comments here), and B)Completely disingenuous and untrustworthy.
If they are willing to go this far just for positive press, who's to say they won't go further? Can any positive coverage of the Xbox One be considered genuine and legit, or was it simply bought by Microsoft under a contract that forbids saying it was a paid endorsement?
Perhaps that last bit MAY be a tad on the tinfoil hat side, but it's not without merit given the XB1M13 program that currently exists.
Every move that Microsoft has made currently shows that they have little to no executive focus. They must feel like they need to buy positive coverage because they aren't seeing the fervor from the core gaming audience, or the interest from the casual gaming audience, that they so desperately want and/or need.
What Microsoft is doing though is just a part of the huge problem with gaming press in general. If it isn't Microsoft buying positive coverage, then it's publishers using advertisement dollars and game copies to exert pressure over gaming journalists.
So remember, every video that you see with the tag XB1M13, or is part of the Machinima network and is talking about anything Xbox One related, don't trust what's being said. The potential for that uploader to be a sellout for Microsoft is quite high. Would you really want the advice of someone who has put their channel up for sale like that?
Imagine the Kinect 2 was such a terrible peripheral that it couldn't register dark skinned people, would only work if you had a 200 Watt bulb pulsating in your living room, and got hotter than the sun but every Machinima based partner told you that it was the greatest device ever conceived of. Then you get it home and can't use it. That's the kind of thing, though exaggerated, that could happen.
In the end, the products should speak for themselves. Paying people to only say good things about your product makes it seem like you're trying to cover up some kind of monumental, or numerous, bad things that you really don't want getting out to the general public. Part of being out of touch though means that you don't understand that the kinds of people that would actually look for this information, also know that you're paying for positive coverage. Either make a product that can stand on its own merits, or don't make a product at all. And most importantly, don't try to buy positive press, and also tell people to stop "wasting their time on platform superiority."