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Microsoft Paying for Positive Xbox One Coverage on YouTube

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the smell-of-fresh-cut-astroturf dept.

Microsoft 128

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft, partnered with Machinima, has put forth a promotion for YouTube personalities: make a video about the Xbox One and get money for it. Problematically, they also require the reviewer not to disclose that they're getting paid (or mention anything negative), which breaks FTC disclosure rules (PDF). Microsoft has a well-known history of astroturfing, but is this the first proof of them doing it illegally?"

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128 comments

Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023563)

I have no desire for any of the next-gen consoles, regardless of what garbage they spew. I like my PC running Steam and Non-Steam games just fine.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023611)

Cool story bro.

Re:Well (2)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#46023673)

SteamBox for you, then?

Re:Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023807)

Yup. I won't buy Sony (seriously, rootkits?) and MS's behaviour around the XBone has written that off, so when my 360 dies (it's actually been a great wee machine) I'll be getting a SteamBox.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025465)

Got any factual evidence of this rootkits exclusive to sony?
BTW: steam also supports securom, and so does every single other platform out there on the planet..
so once again (slow claps) bravo for being a sucker for marketing bullshit..

and BTW: that xbox360 has a rootkit, it's called xbox live and you're paying for it... (genius)

Re: Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026299)

Steam doesn't have anything to do with securom, they just allow 3rd party DRM. There is a major difference.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029185)

Got any factual evidence of this rootkits exclusive to sony?

Are you serious? [wikipedia.org]

And, as we saw with OtherOS, Sony won't hesitate to remove features if you're a minority. The fanboy idiots will say that ripping people off and crippling the console's functionality is okay because the piracy bogeymen would destroy us all otherwise, and you're in the minority, so who cares? Microsoft and Nintendo are hardly any better.

Re:Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025583)

your PC already is a steambox..

Re:Well (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 3 months ago | (#46023793)

Thanks for keeping us posted on how the PC gaming community doesn't like consoles. Without your post, I would never have guessed.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023859)

regardless of what garbage they spew.

Yeah, like the other article today where they claim their researchers have cut fraud in Skype by 68%.

Why don't they set those researchers onto their own fraudulent practices? Just an untrustworthy, unethical company, through and through.

Re:Well (1, Interesting)

dskzero (960168) | about 3 months ago | (#46024711)

I've been at that point for the last ten years. Once I grew out of Pokémon and Zelda I haven't had any reason to play a console game.

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | about 3 months ago | (#46025813)

Well, I never did play Pokémon, but I have to ask: does one ever really outgrow Zelda? Maybe the new games don't do it for you, but don't you ever find yourself wanting to play Ocarina again?

Re:Well (1)

dskzero (960168) | about 3 months ago | (#46026099)

I thought it would be the case: I would come back to OoT but I just couldn't get into it. I've been trying to play Majora's Mask for years and I just can't find the inspiration. I certainly believe those to be great games, I just can't play them anymore.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026155)

Geesh, I just read your sentence but thought Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario world as opposed to Ocarina. I'm getting old...

Re:Well (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | about 3 months ago | (#46026251)

Obviously those are great classics, too. But the post I replied to specifically mentioned Pokémon and Zelda. As I said, I've never played Pokémon. I've not been much of a fan of that style of game, including the FF series.

Re:Well (1, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about 3 months ago | (#46027007)

Well, I never did play Pokémon, but I have to ask: does one ever really outgrow Zelda? Maybe the new games don't do it for you, but don't you ever find yourself wanting to play Ocarina again?

I outgrew the Zelda games when I had to wave the stupid wiimote around like i was on crack.

Re:Well (2)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | about 3 months ago | (#46027371)

That killed any and all nostalgia value that Ocarina of Time had? "I hate Windows 8/8.1 so completely, that I'm going to uninstall Windows 7 and switch to Fedora or Ubuntu."

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46028311)

wave the stupid wiimote around like i was on crack.

Yeah I'm sure you did, guy. That's just you being your own stupid self, though. Nobody else had to do that.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46028445)

Wow, I imagine most of us see orcania as part of the new zelda games.

Re:Well (3, Informative)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 3 months ago | (#46026487)

That's interesting. Most people I know grew out of playing Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto and start playing grownup games like Pokémon instead.

And? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023571)

And this type of action is new or newsworthy how?

I certainly hope this type of act is reported for each and every company that ever does it. Maybe we can dedicate a whole website to the 1,000s of companies that do this type of thing. We'll call it NothingNewHereAtAll.wtf and it won't have the horendous /. beta format.

Re:And? (5, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | about 3 months ago | (#46023583)

The astroturfing itself isn't that newsworthy, but if it could be proved MS is doing something illegal here, it might blow up and become quite something.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023653)

Oh come on! Micrsoft has been busted for astroturfing hundreds of times and nobody gives a toss. Do you really think all those "fans" here really believe Win 8.1 is a great OS?

Get a clue sunsine, there's not much else to that company APART from astroturf.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024141)

Win 8.1 is a meh OS only a whisker better than 8.0 (that isnt saying much). The under bits are good (2-5 second boot yes please). The GUI *still* needs tons of work (aka put it back and evolve from there). For this gen I have made up my mind. I am getting a PS4 if only for the next uncharted/ff game (whatever/whenever that is). Also am not going to get a launch machine this time (red ring/bluray led burnout). Most of my gaming is steam these days anyway since you are hard pressed to actually buy anything on disc anymore since all the stores decided to sell only steam coupons. Hell, I can get it right from steam and usually on sale if I wait a bit... Though stick of truth will be a day one buy :)

They can astroturf all they like. I have made up my mind already. I am going to wait a bit. I bought every single major launch console since the 2600. I am skipping this time.

Re:And? (0)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 3 months ago | (#46026309)

Do you really think all those "fans" here really believe Win 8.1 is a great OS?

It may shock you to know that some people have a mind of their own and can think for themselves. It may shock you even more to know that MS does not (and cannot) pay for every single positive review or comment.

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026729)

I'm NOT shocked at all that MS has to pay for positive reviews and comments about its products.

Re:And? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 3 months ago | (#46023805)

There is a line when marketing crosses into consumer fraud.

Re:And? (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46023855)

It's not a fine line at all in many jurisdictions, where any paid promotion must be explicitly disclosed. The agreement quoted here includes a gagging clause that's in direct conflict with that.

Re:And? (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 months ago | (#46025661)

And Machinima is in violation for making such an agreement. This is hardly surprising, they greatly exploit their content producers because a large segment of them are kids coming out of high school that want to play video games for a living and really have no idea about the value of their work.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023927)

I guess when you have done as much of it as they have (hello Windows 8 defenders/astroturfers) you get kind of brazen. I wonder how much they spend on "advertising" in this manner.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024423)

The contract is legit.

States users cannot disclose that they are being paid to do the videos and talk positively.
It's full on illegal.

http://i.imgur.com/x68bG9J.png
https://twitter.com/AngryJoeShow/status/425633628857438209

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 months ago | (#46025645)

There's nothing that indicates any wrongdoing on Microsoft's part. The agreement linked to in the article is between Machinima and the video creator and not the agreement between Microsoft and Machinima. There's no way to tell if the "positive endorsement" was required by Microsoft or if that's just something Machinima tagged on to the agreement, but hey it's Microsoft so lets bash them anyway and not let facts stand in the way.

Re:And? (2, Interesting)

Wraithlyn (133796) | about 3 months ago | (#46027493)

You're right that the headline overstates things, but on the flip side, this isn't a court of law. We are entitled to educated guesses as to where such a "positive endorsement clause" most likely originated from.

If YOUR guess is, "I bet Machinima did that by themselves", my opinion is that you're fucking naive. I could be wrong of course.

Have a nice day.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46027863)

It's not illegal to get paid endorsements online as stipulated. The FCC regs are only for radio and TV, not the Internet. There are several hobbyist magazines that are nothing but paid endorsements and you don't see disclaimers in them either.

Re:And? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 3 months ago | (#46029023)

but if it could be proved MS is doing something illegal here

Umm, what exactly is in any way illegal here?

(Now, if you said "slimy"....)

all astroturfing is immoral (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023579)

its legality is irrelevant

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 3 months ago | (#46023833)

The problem is that it's hard to tell the difference between a fanboy and an astroturfer. And is a fanboy immoral for taking money for something he/she was going to post anyway?

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 3 months ago | (#46024131)

is a fanboy immoral for taking money for something he/she was going to post anyway?

That's the key difference. If the person believes it anyway it is ok. Most of the pro-microsoft posters here seem to land on that pattern. Only recently have I run into pro-Windows 8 posters that seem to have no convictions or beliefs of their own. They simply seemed to have been paid to post empty pro-Windows 8 content.

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46026279)

I think you are also letting your Anti-Microsoft bias get in the way too.
Some people do like Microsoft products, or do not find as many faults in them as Slashdotters make us believe.

MS does do a lot of things right with their products, and there are also a lot of things that can be improved, sometimes I feel the made the wrong tradeoffs in their design.

I am OK with windows 8, but it isn't want I really would want in a Desktop OS, It seems to try to mix Tablet and OS together making something not so good at both. That said, it was a really good attempt at doing such. I am not getting paid, by MS to promote their stuff, it is my honest opinion about it.

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 3 months ago | (#46026635)

Some people do like Microsoft products,

which is exactly what I said in the OP. So what's your point?

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (2)

fictionpuss (1136565) | about 3 months ago | (#46024715)

A fan who receives gifts or money in exchange for positive public relations work, and doesn't disclose this, is a shill.

So no, it's really easy to tell the difference - unless there is intent to deceive.

I have a hard time calling it "immoral" though, in the sense that we're talking about the Free Market, where such fancy ideas such as morality evidently bear no relevance. Put it in the big pile of "badwrong" by the door.

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | about 3 months ago | (#46024915)

Actually, thanks to the tag #XB1M13, you can easily separate the shills from the fanboys. The trouble is avoiding the fanboy stamp.

Re:all astroturfing is immoral (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#46026039)

its legality is irrelevant

Existence is futile. Your non-features will enhance our own. You will be illegitimated.

Standard operating procedure for Microsoft. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023601)

Fake reviews, Fake adverts, Fake court presentations...

Re:Standard operating procedure for Microsoft. (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#46023681)

Fake reviews, Fake adverts, Fake court presentations...

And they complain if we use a fake copy of Windows!

Re:Standard operating procedure for Microsoft. (3, Funny)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 3 months ago | (#46023877)

That just sounds like they are complaining. Actually they are faking it :)

Re:Standard operating procedure for Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025475)

Well ... because they are.
Piracy has been an incredible marketing mechanism for Microsoft. A lot of people who couldn't afford or buy it, would pirate it. As the years passed and computers gained more and more importance in our lives, they would need legal copies and since the knowledge of the pirated OS was the same for the legally bought one ... well, let's just say they only need to fill in the orders for an already existing market.

Surprise is not what we're feeling. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#46023623)

Sad that this is commonplace to those playing at attention.

Re:Surprise is not what we're feeling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023747)

Yup.

Just goes to show how far Microsoft has fallen with whoever at the helm.

greed fear ego based corepirate nazis lacking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023627)

no honor integrity or competitive products leaves just more pr fim storm typer hypenosys our national shame world wide now other than or WMD on credit cabals. never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to genuine creation aka momkind

harper offers up canada as the new promised land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023661)

see what he means?

Re:greed fear ego based corepirate nazis lacking (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 months ago | (#46024073)

Psycho much?

If your stream of consciousness (I'll use the term loosely) resembles your sentence structure you are in dire need of suicide.

Re:greed fear ego based corepirate nazis lacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026199)

Stop feeding the trolls, dumbass.

using deceptive prractice for personal gain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023695)

it's a felony. fuddles not alone there by any means so why act like it's an oddity?

lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023725)

...and all the other companies do the same....love the anti-ms fanbois...

Re: lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024189)

Quiet, you! Can't you see we're trying to have a circle jerk here?!

Piled up on shelves (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 3 months ago | (#46023777)

I was wondering how they were getting all this great coverage when the PS4 is in such high demand that you still can't find it anywhere and there Xbox Ones are stacked up like cordword in every Best Buy I've been to in the last few weeks.

Re:Piled up on shelves (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46024045)

Just because a product isn't selling well, doesn't mean it's not actually a superior product. I've heard people say that the GameCube actually had comparable if not better graphics compared to XBox, but most people just dismissed it outright, assuming that it couldn't possibly be any good, given it's appearance. Technically, all the numbers on the GameCube were lower, but it was capable of producing graphics that were just as good, because of a completely different architecture. Another example The iPad sells better than any other tablet out there, but it has some serious pitfalls, such as not being able to expand the storage, and not being able to hook up standard USB devices. Compare that to this year's Surface 2, which the only flaws seem to be the small app selection, and some people not liking the UI (which is pretty subjective), yet the Surface 2 isn't something most people consider. They want the iPad because everyone else has an iPad. As far as I see, the iPad is only the best in 1 respect, and that's that it has the most apps. That's a pretty important marketing point, but not the only thing to look at.

Re:Piled up on shelves (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 months ago | (#46025311)

Except in this instance, the PS4 and XB1 are so similar in function, hardware and the software they run (mostly games) that it is reasonable to draw comparisons. Sales are just part of that of course and sometimes the better product loses out. But in this case I doubt anybody could seriously claim that the XB1 is the better product and people just don't realise it. Neither the PS4 or XB1 can claim to be perfect so far and much could change over the course of a few years, but so far the PS4 is leading for a reason - it's cheaper, it's slightly faster (more games in 1080p), it's nicer looking and the marketing has been better.

Re:Piled up on shelves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025607)

I don't live in the US, but in one of "those" Eastern European countries. People buy iStuff here too, but they're sooo pricey, they get dismissed out of hand (laughably, it's a lot cheaper to buy brand new from Amazon). Without that brand restriction people actually choose products that have better hardware or looks, not just better marketing.

Re:Piled up on shelves (0)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 3 months ago | (#46028037)

Another example The iPad sells better than any other tablet out there, but it has some serious pitfalls, such as not being able to expand the storage, and not being able to hook up standard USB devices. Compare that to this year's Surface 2, which the only flaws seem to be the small app selection

You seem to dismiss Operating System. One major reason the iPad sells better is the superior user experience and application consistency that other tablets lack.

Re:Piled up on shelves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029233)

You make it sound like "small app selection" and "not liking the UI" are MINOR ISSUES.. Obviously many people consider them major issues.

Also, obviously, many people don't consider the lack of USB a reason not to buy an iPad.

Re:Piled up on shelves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024643)

Except the Xbox One is right up there in sales with PS4. I believe, Xbox one sold more in December. But either way, it comes down to software. Doesnt matter if you can talk to your system or stream this or that, it comes down to the games. Right now, PS3/Xbox 360 are better choices then Xbox One/PS4 due to games.

Re:Piled up on shelves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026317)

PS4, at last count, has sold ~40% more than the Xbox One. 4.2 million vs 3 million.

Cue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023827)

Cue the Microsoft paid shills... err, I mean paid supporters... err, I mean unpaid people who shill out of their love for their great and wonderful employer. Non-employer.

WMD cabal band of 85 ringleaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023835)

in plain sight? not quite http://www.bloomberg.com/davos/

Common in Youtube land (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46023847)

Companies, not just Microsoft, pay Youtubers to mention their product in their videos. People make a living posting videos to Youtube and some Youtubers have sponsors pay them for mentioning products in their videos without disclosing that they are being paid to do so. If this controversy with Microsoft becomes a thing, there may be collateral impact on Youtube land beyond Microsoft.

are they doing the same for windows 8? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46023915)

as they can account for the people out their who say it's good and you need to learn to get use to the start screen.

Re:are they doing the same for windows 8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026375)

ESL lesson, Joe: Their cars are over there. The people out THERE need THEIR start menu.

Shouldn't you be posting on a messageboard that caters to folks who speak whatever your first language is?

Except its all unclear still (2)

adycarter (261257) | about 3 months ago | (#46024091)

https://twitter.com/KyleOrl/st... [twitter.com]

Its still not really apparent what, if any, involvement MS actually had in this.

The authors of the articles freely admit its an assumption

All is clear. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024335)

Machinima is getting ad buy from MS. They're not promoting the XBone out of the kindness of their hearts. They got money from Microsoft, they take a cut, the pass on a pittance to the "influencers". If you honestly think MS is not connected you are deluded. The whole idea that this is some sort of rogue operation is ridiculous.

Besides, this was not even the first campaign. It happened around the release also (at $1 CMR). But I guess Microsoft just didn't notice that one and Machinima snuck another one past them?

"Sure this doctor is saying smoking Camel isn't bad for you, but where's the evidence? Don't leap to conclusions about who's paying him!". Please.

Some details (3, Informative)

eatvegetables (914186) | about 3 months ago | (#46024107)

From contract.

'''

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. You understand that You may not post a copy of this Agreement or any terms thereof online or share them with any third party (other than a legal or financial representative). You agree that You have read the Nondisclosure Agreement (attached hereto and marked as Exhibit “A”) and You understand and agree to all of terms of the Nondisclosure Agreement, which is incorporated as part of this Agreement.

'''

The sketchy bit for me is that Machinima bills itself as "Machinima is the dominant video entertainment network for young males around the world. " Doesn't seem to clearly state that it is, perhaps, a promotional entity as well.

Re:Some details (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 3 months ago | (#46024259)

Out of curiousity:

If somebody sends me such a contract/NDA as the above (particularly one that says "don't tell anyone about this agreement") and I do /not/ sign it, am I still obligated to follow its strictures? I would guess not but I am no lawyer.

Re:Some details (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46024675)

The only reason I would think that you wouldn't be able to would be copyright laws. Copyright laws might possibly be construed in such a way that you wouldn't be allowed to post actual text from the letter itself. It wouldn't stop you from paraphrasing what the letter said, but using exact words from the contract could be argued to be copyright infringement. I would assume that this would fall within fair use, but if musicians can be charged royalties for using just a few notes from another song in their own recordings, then anything is possible. You may not lose a court case, but you may need to spend money on a lawyer.

M$ is the king of astroturfing (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024221)

M$ has always used and will always use astroturfing to do whatever it can to push their DRM infested non free software, even use astroturfers on multiple accounts [slashdot.org] to shill for M$ and M$ using astroturfers to shill for their failed Xbone. They know their days are numbered Windoze as GNU/Linux and GNU/Hurd are both gaining ground so they will now astroturf to get a monopoly in the gaming arena just as they are using digital restrictions management infested features in a BIOS called restricted boot so M$ can regain and keep their illegal monopoly. M$ is a convicted monopolist and this is what happens when the sheeple forget the history of M$.

--
Friends don't help friends install M$ junk.
Friends do assist M$ addicted friends in committing suicide.

Re:M$ is the king of astroturfing (-1, Troll)

lwriemen (763666) | about 3 months ago | (#46024975)

If I had mod points I'd mod you up. Posts like yours are automatically modded to oblivion anymore, because as you've pointed out, /. has been targeted by the Microsoft astroturfers. I'm starting to wonder if the MS shills outnumber the *nix users now. Rename to \.?

Re:M$ is the king of astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025825)

Posts like his were modded into oblivion because he's twitter [slashdot.org], one of the most notorious anti-Microsoft trolls in the site's history.

He's still bitter because his posts use to come in at -1 due to repeated downmods. This is because even on Slashdot there was no place for his brand of open source zealotry.

Re:M$ is the king of astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46027471)

mmmmm thats yummy Microsoft cock - lick it goooood faggot. Lick it real good motherfucker faggot!

Re:M$ is the king of astroturfing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025867)

My god, it's twitter! [slashdot.org]

I thought you'd been driven off this site because you're a ridiculous pantomime of an open-source advocate?

Bing All Over Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024239)

Didn't they do this same payola tactic for Bing? "Bing bucks" or something like that?

Machinima sucks (1, Interesting)

sproketboy (608031) | about 3 months ago | (#46024443)

Machinima sucks anyway. Please avoid. You're much better off with the independent reviewers like Angry Joe and TotalBiscuit.

Re:Machinima sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46025471)

totalbiscuit is a schill, every bit as bad as Machinima

Re:Machinima sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026921)

He is really bad. Blatant and obvious.

If he does not get compensation, then your game will get shit on regardless of quality. Unless if it is already popular, same way all the other reviewers avoid alienating their audience.

If he gets a little advertising he judges most games based on how well it tickles his nostalgia.

Else his mood is positive and the time he spends on your game is dependent on the money he receives.

Re:Machinima sucks (2)

silviuc (676999) | about 3 months ago | (#46027029)

Two things:

1) TotalBiscuit is part of the Polaris MCN. He's also a partnered channel... thus he did not face recent wave of bullshit from Youtube and the music industry. AngryJoe is also part of Polaris IIRC but only an affiliate so the BS wave hit him as hard as it did the others. He is slowly recovering

2) Sleazy Youtube MCN + sleazy software and hardware company == love. MS and Machinima sitting in the money tree....

Re:Machinima sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46028067)

You have no idea what you're talking about. TotalBiscuit and AngryJoe are both part of Polaris, formerly known as The Game Station. Almost nobody on youtube doing gaming content is independent.

Payola on the radio too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024585)

Anyone notice whenever Microsoft has a new song you've never heard of on a new commercial, all of a sudden they are playing it on every radio station?

Re:Payola on the radio too (1)

crashcy (2839507) | about 3 months ago | (#46024813)

It's likely where you live. Where I live, I tend to hear the songs on the radio first, and later see them get on MS commercials about the time the rest of the country is picking up the songs. If you live in a smaller radio market, you'll get those same songs after the commercials hit.

This is Machinima deal, not Microsoft (3, Informative)

nomaddamon (1783058) | about 3 months ago | (#46024935)

Full contract at http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv5/ [pastebin.com]

Machinima lives of these kind of promotions (all Machinima affiliates get multiple offers per month)

The total cost for this promotion for Machinima is 3750$ (promotion ends when this CPM target is met)

It is likely Microsoft entered into a deal with Machinima to increase it's visibility and Machinima did the promotion on it's own (like it has done with a lot of brands before)

Re:This is Machinima deal, not Microsoft (0)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 months ago | (#46025721)

The summary is misleading. The article headline is misleading. It's fun to bash on Microsoft so the facts that are present will be ignored because they don't fit that narrative.

Is this PROOF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46024961)

...is this the first proof of them doing it illegally?"

Er, no.

Because an unsupported assertion on a chat board ain't proof...

The rules don't apply. (3, Informative)

jdi_knght (3507915) | about 3 months ago | (#46026323)

That whole FTC ruling was directed primary at bloggers (people who use affiliate programs were hooked in there too). Remember, the initial ruling came back in 2009 when searching for some sort of product review usually brought up a bunch of blogs. If you look at http://www.business.ftc.gov/do... [ftc.gov] , over half of the document references bloggers.

That particular problem doesn't really exist anymore for a number of products/services, because Google's Penguin/Panda updates have shoved most independent "blog" type reviews down a few pages in favour of Amazon (for products), ResellerRatings/RipOffReport (for retailers), and similar sites. Those are way easier to astroturf, so companies just hire "marketing agencies" to take care of those now instead of wasting time chasing after individual unpredictable bloggers who might have their sense of morality kick in at any time.

Aside: Microsoft's a little behind the times, as usual. The "new" way to do things would be to hire a company to make a few YouTube "reviews" and then use their multiple accounts to like them all, while searching for negative ones and disliking them. It's cheaper and easier.

Anyway, technically they could get a warning/fine from the FTC (or those who make the videos could) for what's being done here, but it's pretty unlikely. The video rules to qualify for the CPM bump are a little convoluted, and if the FTC actually pushed for fines, in court MS could make the case that paying out a higher CPM for Xbox videos has a similar outcome to bidding more for specific search terms on AdWords with "-sucks -awful -terrible" as negative keywords and then publicly stating that they bit more for ad clicks from non-negative reviews.

By the way, who *doesn't* assume that there could be some bias in videos from Machinima/partners and similar outlets? Surely I'm not the only one who sees them in the same light as gaming publications where if they say something too negative they suddenly stop getting free/early access to future products or have advertising revenue cut back. It's one thing when you see "Gus's XBOX 1 review" where he's taken video with a handheld camcorder from 2005 and you kind of assume he spent his own money and just wanted to talk about it and you maybe even take what he says at face value. The clean-cut commercialized stuff, you always take with a grain of salt.

Ignoring all that, even if Microsoft were to somehow eat a fine, I doubt they'd care. They sold the original Xbox at a loss for years, and FTC fines at most are a slap on the wrist for the big players. If you're a large corporation, you can usually find a way to make breaking the law profitable even when you're caught.

People watch Machinima?! (2)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46026439)

Personally, Machinima content is so appallingly bad that this story is not surprising at all. Machinima needs a serious upgrade.

This is news because it is illegal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026621)

There's a reason infomercials have to tell you "this is a paid advertisement by the following"

Heads will roll and possible litigation in the future for Microsoft's shady actions.

Aaaand here goes it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46026629)

Aaaand here goes the positive coverage of the Xbox One on youtube. This is the start of flaming and mocking of MS's attempts to get positive feedback there.

How and sane marketing department can think they can come positive out of something if it backfires is a bit hard to understand. They *know* people wait for throw dirty things in their direction and they still risk it... it is like the marketing department responsible for the Xbox One was a bit removed from the Real World.... wait, never mind, I just remembered fully who we are speaking about...

Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46027311)

No one likes us unless we pay them to pretend to like us. And because we suck metric tons of cock. Microsoft. We love metric tons of cocksucking.

Xbox Rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46028655)

Hello Internet!

I'm writing this comment to let you know how cool the Xbox One is! It's the awesomest Xbox out there! There's no Xbox like it! Best news yet, there's nothing wrong with it either! Yes, you heard that right! There's nothing wrong with it. It's bug free, gameplay experience is from best upwards, there are no crashes, you don't lose your saved games when Mr. Ballmer throws a chair into the datacentre, doesn't send all your Kinect live feeds to the NSA, nothing!

And while Microsoft offered to pay me to say the above, I refused their money! I'll shill for free y'all! They could use that money to plug the big ass hole left behind by the Surface RT, Surface Pro, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Mr. Ballmer's golden parachute!

Regards,
        Shill MacShilling

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