Microsoft says major Xbox leak consists of ‘old emails and documents’


Microsoft’s head of gaming has acknowledged a major leak which has revealed a host of confidential details about its gaming business.

Documents published on a court website as part of Microsoft’s legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) potentially laid bare key elements of the company’s gaming strategy for years to come, including plans for unannounced console hardware and games.

Addressing widespread coverage of the confidential materials, Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed “so much has changed” since the emails and documents in question were written or created.

“We’ve seen the conversation around old emails and documents,” he tweeted. “It is hard to see our team’s work shared in this way because so much has changed and there’s so much to be excited about right now, and in the future. We will share the real plans when we are ready.”

Following the leak, the judge in the FTC’s case against Microsoft, Jacqueline Scott Corley, said the Xbox maker had inadvertently provided the court with a link to the unredacted documents, which it then uploaded to the internet page established for the case before the mistake was spotted and they were removed.

The leaked documents included the following revelations:

Spencer also commented on the leak in greater detail in an email sent to Microsoft employees on Tuesday, which was obtained by The Verge.

“Today, several documents submitted in the court proceedings related to our proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard were unintentionally disclosed. I know this is disappointing, even if many of the documents are well over a year old and our plans have evolved,” he wrote.

“I also know we all take the confidentiality of our plans and our partners’ information very seriously. This leak obviously is not us living up to that expectation. We will learn from what happened and be better going forward.

“We all put incredible amounts of passion and energy into our work, and this is never how we want that hard work to be shared with the community. That said, there’s so much more to be excited about, and when we’re ready, we’ll share the real plans with our players.

“In closing, I appreciate all of the work that you pour into Team Xbox to surprise and delight our players. In the days and weeks ahead, let’s stay focused on what we can control: continuing the amazing success of Starfield, the upcoming launch of the incredible and accessible Forza Motorsport, and continuing to build games, services and devices that millions of players can enjoy.”