Director John Wikstrom has essentially just made the greatest Xbox ad of all time – and it had nothing to do with Microsoft.
Wikstrom is an aspiring Los Angeles filmmaker. Adweek reports that he works in the ad industry as a treatment designer, but had never made a commercial himself. As such, he decided to make a “fake” one to give his portfolio a boost.
Given the reception his video has had, I’d say his portfolio has been well and truly boosted. The short is a tribute to the original Xbox, and is called simply Player Two.
It was in fact entirely inspired by a YouTube comment from a year or so ago. The commenter describes how he and his dad used to play Xbox together all the time, until his dad passed away when he was just six.
Fast forward ten years, and he decided to dig out his Xbox again to play an old game called RalliSport Challenge. During a time trial, he discovered his dad had left ghost data of his own races on the game.
Wikstrom was so moved by this YouTube comment, that he scrapped his original video (which was apparently far more conventional) and decided to use the comment word for word as voiceover in the video.
It was this beautiful comment, and I remembered thinking it would be great if there was some way to do it. The comment itself is so beautifully written, and this is that guy’s story. I wanted to be respectful to it.
The guy behind the original YouTube comment responded to the video with a simple “thank you”, while Xbox boss Phil Spencer shared the clip via Twitter.
Check it out for yourself below. The short was put together with help from cinematographer Idan Menin and actor Zac Pullam.
The original commenter later added a sad end to his story. Apparently, the old Xbox finally succumbed to old age, taking his dad’s ghost data with it.
Still, on a happier note, his story has been shared in a way he probably could never have imagined.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.