In the new turn of the events during FTC vs. Microsoft trial, a private document about the PlayStation’s revenue was revealed by mistake. These documents were presented in court to show the margins that Sony shares with its publishers. Along with that, the private information also sheds light on the cost of developing certain PS video games and its Call of Duty revenues. But how did Sony’s confidential documents got revealed? Because a Sharpie was used to redact Sony’s confidential Playstation intel during the Microsoft-FTC trial.
Black Sharpie Reveals Sony’s Confidential PlayStation Info & Revenues
While the confidential documents were redacted using a Sharpie to keep them a secret from the public and Sony’s competitors, scanning it allowed seeing some of its redactions almost clearly. Here’s what the document reads:
Developing and producing AAA games often costs over $100 million, requires hundreds or thousands of developers, and takes years. For instance, development on Horizon Forbidden West, a 2022 SIE first-party release, lasted a total of  years, starting in  and ending in 2022. The game cost [$212] million to develop, and peak headcount was over  full time employees. Development on The Last of Us Part II, a 2020 SIE first-party release, took longer at  months, starting in  and ending in 2020. Developments costs were around million, and headcount peaked around and  full time employees. In addition to development costs, global marketing costs for AAA games are large, even for established franchises.
Although the court urgently removed the documents online, it was already out in the public domain. And by the time it was removed, all of Sony’s competitors, insiders, and journalists had downloaded it. Aside from the above leaks, it was also accidentally revealed that 1 Million PlayStation Gamers exclusively play COD and nothing else.
The presented SIE documents were provided to display its heavy revenue impact due to Call Of Duty’s potential Xbox exclusivity. Though previously, it was believed that these documents were mistakenly redacted by Sony. However, turns out Sony had asked the court to redact these sensitive documents. Considering the main interest for the ongoing Microsoft-FTC trial is if Activision’s COD becomes an Xbox exclusive, these reveals offer an insight into Sony’s revenues and support their claim.
On similar notes, a leak also revealed Microsoft’s potential acquisition targets including Bungie, Niantic, & SEGA. While those documents weren’t redacted with a Sharpie, they showed a list of Microsoft’s key acquisition targets to the public. Following these leaks, it was also revealed that Microsoft considered acquiring Square Enix to push a Mobile exclusive Game Pass.
But as for what happens next? We will have to wait and see if Microsoft’s $68.7 billion worth Activision acquisition goes through. If you enjoyed reading this, check out more interesting News and COD-related coverage right here on Gamer Tweak.