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Microsoft's Deceit in Advertising: the Xbox Ultimate Game Sale

By Blackwalt - Posted on 18 February 2015

Error, omission, or deceit. It's still far from truth in advertising

It's probably true that I am not Microsoft's biggest fan. This despite my loyalty to their Xbox brand starting from the original Xbox (which I still have). However I expect that even their biggest fan would find it deceitful that they were advertising their Xbox Ultimate Game Sale using Master Chief (shown in the above picture) when he is nowhere to be found in the sale.

I first found out about the Ultimate Game Sale through Gaming Target who started their list with "Halo: The Master Chief Collection - 25% off (60% off for Gold members)."

Gaming Target had the story that lead me to the Sniper Elite 3 deal which I wrote about as well as bought.

And that was me done for the sale.

Until I was sending a email to Coxxorz about it. He was miffed about me posting the deal first so I was sending him a note about the other games he could post in his random deals. I even had Halo: The Master Chief Collection written in the email before I went looking for links to include.

My first stop was Major Nelson's blog. The Official Spokesman of Xbox where I was surprised to discover Halo missing from the Official List. Please note that Halo 4 is included in the Xbox 360 list. However, I was only looking for Xbox One.

As I was looking for actual prices instead of discount percentages I decide to go online and check the Xbox One store.

This is where I discovered the top photo with five separate images of Master Chief advertising "The Ultimate Game Sale. Over 30 hot game on sale now." None of them Halo: The Master Chief Collection despite the collage of Master Chiefs normally used to advertise Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Here are three photos depicting the screens for the Ultimate Game Sale:

Hello? Master Chief?

Well no, no Master Chief. I dug through the Xbox Store to find the Halo: The Master Chief Collection and found all three listed versions at full price.

Master Chief is Microsoft's most bankable game character and Halo is their leading game franchise so it is understandable why they would want to use him to get gamers into the Ultimate Game Sale but it's unethical if he isn't there.

At best it is an accidental omission. Unfortunately for Microsoft I don't usually assume the best. This is deceptive at it's worst, false advertising with a bait and switch using Master Chief to get gamers looking at the Ultimate Game Sale. An Ultimate Game Sale with no sign of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Now the sale runs until February 23rd and it is possible that Halo: The Master Chief Collection may still be added. Possible.

But for me the most telling argument of false advertising is today's lead-in for the Ultimate Game Sale:

Master Chief is now gone, replaced by Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs. Watch Dogs, by the way, is on sale - 50% off, 60% off for Gold Members.

Full disclosure. At no point was I planning on buying Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

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