Microsoft wasn’t sure if it should be red-faced with anger or shame when documents related to a lawsuit revealed internal secrets about the company’s plans for its Xbox gaming system.
Apparently, the documents are part of a lawsuit brought by the FTC seeking to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The files went public as part of an upload by the US District Court of Northern California to a public server and revealed previously unknown information.
More than 100 documents, some partially redacted, were released and gave details about plans for revamps to the Xbox for 2024 including a new tube-like console design
Many other documents revealed embarrassing internal discussions about games, with speculation on costs and release dates for third-party games.
Titles like the long-anticipated Elder Scrolls VI was mentioned for a 2026 or later release.
The leaks included musings by Microsoft Games CEO Phil Spencer on acquisition targets such as Valve, Warner Brothers’ game division, and even rival Nintendo.
The fingers were pointing when the leak was discovered, but Douglas Farrar, the FTC’s Director of Public Affairs was quick to point the problem back at Microsoft.
Posting on X, Farrar commented, “The FTC was not responsible for uploading Microsoft’s plans for its games and consoles to the court website.”
It seems someone at Microsoft dropped the documents in a folder that was later uploaded to the public by the US District Court as is normal prior to the opening of the case.
The lawsuit focuses on the legality of Microsoft’s 2022 proposed $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, with the FTC claiming that the merger will hurt competition in the game industry.
By the end of the day, the documents had since been removed from the public site, but the damage had already been done.