YouTubers Were Secretly Paid To Promote The Xbox One

Streaming games and reporting game news on YouTube is fairly ugly, behind the scenes. There’s a lot of money going around, and a lot of unspoken threats couched in paperwork and contracts. Increasingly, it’s clear something needs to be done… and the Federal Trade Commission just stepped in to make it happen.

Machinima recently settled with the FTC over allegations that it paid thousands of dollars to its members to promote the Xbox One as part of a deal with Microsoft. The YouTubers in question had to sign contracts stating they wouldn’t say anything negative about Microsoft, the Xbox One, or Machinima in their coverage, or even disclose they were paid in the first place.

Unfortunately, the only thing unique about all this is that the FTC stepped in. Even when a game is spectacular, publishers hedge their bets with both money and, in many cases, forcing streamers and YouTubers to sign “non-disclosure agreements” that require them to only present games “positively.” Getting a major game early and streaming it can make or break a YouTube channel, and publishers are happy to crush anybody who doesn’t play along.

What’s the best thing for consumers going forward? Well, first of all, take everything with a grain of salt, especially on YouTube. And secondly, don’t listen to what’s being said: Watch what’s being played.

(Via VG 24/7)