Microsoft and Machinima have responded to concerns over a paid Xbox One promotion that came to light yesterday, describing it as nothing out of the ordinary and denying any skullduggery.
Both companies issued an identical statement on the matter, which was published in full by The Verge:
"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," the companies said.
"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."
The promotion raised hackles among YouTubers and fans when it was revealed yesterday that the companies were offering a $3 CPM bonus for videos mentioning Xbox One verbally, including footage of Xbox One games, but omitting any negative coverage of Machinima or Xbox One.
Some coverage of the promotion described it as "stealth marketing" and took particular umbrage over the secrecy that seemed to shroud it, making it difficult for users to determine what was independent comment and what was paid promotional material - especially as the terms were not readily available online until leaked, and Machinima staff deleted a tweet related to it.