Microsoft and Machinima was criticized for engaging in a controversial advertising deal. As part of the deal, Machinima offered a bonus to YouTube producers that glorified the Xbox One and featured at least 30 seconds of gameplay. It was believed that Microsoft asked Machinima producers not to mention that the video was sponsored. However, Microsoft denied that this was the case and said that they gave freedom to the producers about whether the marketing was sponsored or not.
Machinima offered a $3 CPM bonus to producers that created videos on YouTube that featured the 30 seconds of Xbox One gameplay footage and mentioned the name of the game verbally. The videos also could not contain anything negative about the Xbox One or the games.
“This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December. 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,” said Microsoft in a statement. The program was capped at 1.25 million video views so the maximum combined payout would be at $3,750.
– Machinima was allegedly paid by Microsoft to say nice things about the Xbox One