A recent statement from the FTC, the American Federal Trade Commission, has revealed that Warner Bros. has paid popular YouTube channels and websites to publish positive gameplay videos for the game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
The FTC investigation started back in 2014 when Warner Bros. launched its advertising campaign for the game. The developer hired advertising agency Plaid Social Labs LLC to run the marketing campaign for the game. The company then proceeded to sign deals with popular YouTube channels and websites, including the YouTube channel "PewDiePie".
Warner Bros. paid each influencer from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, gave them a free advance-release version of the game, and told them how to promote it, according to the complaint. The FTC contends that Warner Bros. required the influencers to promote the game in a positive way and not to disclose any bugs or glitches they found.