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Sony court documents removed after redacted details spotted

Not the Sharpie-est tool in the shed.

Sony has had its exhibits pulled from court after failing to properly redact financial information.

As part of the ongoing Microsoft vs FTC court case, Sony provided documentation detailing confidential information about its PlayStation business. As is custom, key details in this documentation were redacted. At least, they were meant to be.

Thanks to the retrospectively poor choice of using a Sharpie marker to redact the key information, it's easy to see the contents of these redactions now the document has been scanned.

Horizon Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC released earlier this year.Watch on YouTube

As you can see in the image below, this documentation revealed that Horizon Forbidden West cost $212m (£168m) to develop over five years between 2017 and 2022, with 300 employees attached to the project.

Meanwhile, fellow PlayStation exclusive The Last Of Us Part 2 cost $220m (£174m) to make, with an employee count of roughly 200.

Sony's documentation was not suitably redacted.

Another piece of Sony documentation claimed that one million players spent 100 percent of their gaming time solely on Call of Duty. This second, similarly poorly redacted exhibit, is a letter from Sony head Jim Ryan to the FTC (see image below).

As reported by The Verge, Ryan's letter reads as follows:

"In 2021, over [14?] million users (by device) spent 30 percent or more of their time playing Call of Duty, over six million users spent more than 70 percent of their time on Call of Duty, and about one million users spent 100 percent of their gaming time on Call of Duty. In 2021, Call of Duty players spent an average of [116?] hours per year playing Call of Duty. Call of Duty players spending more than 70 percent of their time on Call of Duty spent an average of 296 hours on the franchise."

Jim Ryan's letter to the FTC.

None of this information is, admittedly, all that surprising. However, it is clearly a big error on Sony's part.

The court tried to remove the affected exhibits from the case, but it was too little too late. The damage has been done.

Elsewhere during last night's proceedings, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he'd love to get rid of console exclusives.

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