Xbox Live Policy Enforcement Team gets a Happy Hand

Xbox Live Policy Enforcement Team gets a Happy Hand

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 4th Aug 2011

Sine Mora

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It simply cannot be said that Microsoft is lacking in hutzpah when it comes to self-promotion and Public Relations -- even when it is promoting one of the least-loved aspects of its Xbox Live service.

That was the case yesterday, when the Redmond, Washington software giant issued an official press release to games journalists entitled: 'Xbox LIVE Enforcement "Unicorn Ninja" Keeps Service Safe and Fun for Everyone' that was -- in addition to being carried by sites like www.gamespress.com -- widely used by gaming websites all over the world as feature content.

Bearing in mind that Games Press is in the business of aggregating and making available official press releases from the games industry for the use of its members -- who are largely games journo's, editors, and gaming-related website owners -- carrying the release was a reasonable choice. The replication of the piece on websites all over the world -- in most cases without any editing at all -- on the other hand was not.

"Considering that the 'press release' was very carefully crafted in the format of a feature article, the fact that so many sites chose to carry it verbatim is not really all that surprising," says Heather Clark, a media and public relations consultant at a Boston-based reputation management company.

"If you presume that the majority of the sites that published the release are small hobby or niche sites that are not actually making a profit, grabbing a pre-written feature article makes sense for them. In fact it is likely the highest quality piece on their site.

"But its publication by popular sites in the gaming community that do turn a profit is disturbing," Clark observed, adding that the fact that a site earned a profit was not really the key issue, rather it was the fact that separating the sites into the profitable and non-profitable was a convenient way to distinguish between sites with reach into the community and those that have very little penetration.

"The idea of allowing Microsoft to basically hijack your editorial control as you willingly serve as their PR shill? That is very disturbing indeed; you have to wonder what the editors on those sites were thinking?"



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