Xbox One is Microsoft’s newest gaming console. In promoting the XBox, Microsoft might be in violation of Federal Trade law.
A report from the website “Ars Technica” stated that Microsoft pays for positive or neutral reviews of the Xbox One on YouTube. Microsoft’s campaign took place on Machinima.com, a popular website dedicated to making videos of video games. A leaked email, sent between Microsoft and a popular videographer of Machinima, states that Machinima can get paid $3 per 1,000 video views for each video with a positive or neutral review of the Xbox One. Videos need to include at least 30 seconds of Xbox One footage and verbal reference to the Xbox One. The email also states that this campaign would end in February or when 1.25 million views is reached. The full value of this single deal is calculated to $3,750.
The leaked copy of the agreement states that reviewers are not allowed to say anything negative about Xbox One, any of its games, or Machinima.com. It also indicated that anyone who accepts this agreement is not allowed to mention this promotion campaign or else their payment will be void.
In creating this agreement, Microsoft and Machinima may have violated the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines. Specifications for promotions in the FTC guidelines prohibit, “A connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement.”
Since its launch in November 22, 2013, the Xbox One’s sales have topped at over 3 million for 2013.