Microsoft’s Xbox plans revealed in emails tied to FTC case

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An attorney with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) carries an XBOX game console box following a hearing at the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse June 22, 2023 in San Francisco, California. 

Philip Pacheco | Getty Images

A huge collection of purported Xbox files related to the Federal Trade Commission’s case against Microsoft have been published online, spilling some of the company’s plans for the gaming console into public view.

The files were uploaded Friday to a website hosted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where the FTC is suing to block Microsoft’s acquisition of the video game company Activision Blizzard. The court website stopped sharing the files sometime Tuesday morning.

They include more than 100 documents, many of them partially redacted, related to Microsoft’s Xbox plans.

Douglas Farrar, director of the FTC’s office of public affairs, told NBC News that “Microsoft was responsible for the error in uploading these documents to the court.”

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The files include emails from corporate executives like Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and timetables for gaming releases.

Some of the documents include Microsoft Gaming senior employees discussing the value of the exclusive hold they have on key video game titles.

One document shows a list of projections for some major game titles with release dates and what platforms they are planed to be available on. That list estimates the highly anticipated game “The Elder Scrolls VI” won’t be released until 2026 or later and will not be available for Playstation, which is owned by Sony.

Neither Sony nor Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda immediately responded to requests for comment.

It’s not clear if the files were intended to be accessible to the public. A spokesperson for the Northern District didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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