Microsoft apparently can't advertise that Destiny is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360. Their solution: advertise a fragrance called Destiny.
The advertisement for Destiny, "the new Fragrance by Xbox," was posted to the company's UK Twitter and Facebook accounts. When you click the image, you're taken to a website that lets you pre-order the game.
Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter available on Xbox," reads the site. "Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game. So we didn't."
"Thanks for smelling that something was up. Now get the game and become a legend."
It's an entertaining dig at Destiny publisher Activision's partnership with Sony for their game. They're packaging exclusive DLC for the game with the PS3 and PS4 versions. PlayStation gamers also got early beta access and an exclusive PS4 alpha test. Nearly every television ad for Destiny discusses the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game, too.
Still, it's odd to see Microsoft criticizing exclusives. They've had no problem negotiating such deals in the past. Thanks to a long-standing agreement with Activision, all Call of Duty DLC comes to Xbox consoles a month before any other platforms. They worked with EA to promote the Xbox One version of Titanfall, even though the game was also coming to PC on the same date. More recently, Microsoft announced that they acquired timed exclusivity for Rise of the Tomb Raider.
That said, the notion of a third-party publisher hyping up one version of a game is a silly practice at best. At worst, it's misinforming consumers. I suspect there are a few gamers out there that think Destiny is only a PlayStation game, or thought that Titanfall was only an Xbox One game, solely because of marketing. I'm not going to complain about an advertisement that makes fun of these exclusive agreements between publishers and platform holders.
Activision apparently did complain, though. A few hours after the Destiny fragrance website began making the rounds, it was changed to a simple text message: "Hi. There are some great Xbox One offers available at the moment. Please check with retailers for more information."
Oh well, it was funny while it lasted. It achieved its mission of getting the word out about the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Destiny, too.
Yesterday Microsoft announced a special promotion targeting prospective Destiny owners. They're offering a free Xbox One game to anyone who buys the console. The deal lasts from September 7th to September 13th, right around the time of Destiny's September 9th launch date.