I guess I’ve worked in corporate environments for too long, but I’ve seen stuff like this too much not to see it as common practice. I’ve never actually had to do engage in any of this type of activity in a division I’ve been a part of, but it does happen.
And you really cannot blame Microsoft for engaging in this practice. From the get go, the Xbox One has been getting nothing but bad PR. Not going to lie, I’ve shared my fair share of this kind of content on Dueling Analogs, too. That said, I don’t really think you can blame Machinima either. Becasuse Microsoft and Machinima are both businesses and businesses exist to make money.
Microsoft has had a rough start with the Xbox One and Machinima has had to lay off a sizable chunk of it’s staff over the years. If an influx of funds from one to the other would monetarily benefit both companies, it would be bad business decision to ignore that opportunity.
That said, when it comes to video games, politics, or anything in life it’s your own responsibility to prove or disprove the information as true. Don’t just accept something as the truth just because you like the source. That’s my life lesson for you.