Microsoft is currently facing unprecedented disclosure of confidential plans and discussions about its recent past and future Future of Xbox. Sensitive documents intended only for the eyes of the court involved in the Federal Trade Commission’s failed fight to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard were accidentally uploaded to public servers, revealing plans for The Xbox Series X/S console will be updated in 2024, a remaster of the popular open-world role-playing game Fallout 3, and more. Who’s to blame? Apparently Microsoft.
On September 14, the final redacted evidence from the historic litigation was finally released to the Northern District Court of California’s servers. Earlier this week, news broke about Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick regarding Switch 2’s hardware specs and Microosft planning to release its 10th generation console in 2028. However, on September 19th A ResetEra user discovered this One of the PDF files actually contained hidden, unredacted exhibits that revealed confidential email exchanges, PowerPoint presentations and meeting notes.
These leaked materials offer the most candid look yet into what went on behind closed doors at Xbox between 2019 and 2022. The leaked documents detailed cost estimates for getting games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor And Assassin’s Creed Mirage on Game Pass, plans for new controllers, hardware and operating systems, and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer’s thoughts on attempting to acquire Warner Bros. Games, Valve, and even Nintendo. All in all, these leaks represent a massive breach in an industry that is often subject to heightened and sometimes ridiculous levels of secrecy.
Some Xbox fans who are loyal to and defend the brand in a way often reserved for their hometown sports teams, immediately began blaming the FTC. There was speculation that the regulator or a fraudulent member within its ranks had uploaded the wrong version of the files to take revenge for losing its antitrust case against the tech giant. However, the agency quickly dismissed these rumors.
“The FTC was not responsible for uploading Microsoft’s plans for its games and consoles to the court’s website.” tweeted Douglas Farrar, Director of the Office of Public Affairs. He later announced a new court order released by the judge in the case, Jacqueline Scott Corley. It demanded that both the FTC and Microsoft meet again to discuss the evidence problems, placing blame for the latest leak squarely on the latter.
“The court ordered that the parties meet and provide the court with a secure cloud link to the admitted exhibits with the redactions set forth in the court orders,” she wrote. “Microsoft provided the link on September 14th and the court uploaded the documents to [the] Website set up for this case.”
Following today’s revelation, the court has deleted all remaining documents related to the FTC case from its server, which it previously did after an earlier batch of documents with missing redactions was uploaded. It’s unclear when the exhibits will return in their correctly edited form, but for anyone who follows the video game industry closely, it won’t matter Copies of the documents are already widely circulating.
Microsoft has not yet publicly acknowledged the historic breach or commented on its contents. Spencer and other members of the Xbox team are traveling to Japan this week for the Tokyo Game Show 2023, where a showcase will be livestreamed on September 21st.