Following today’s mega-sized Xbox leak – which has given us word of a planned digital-only Xbox Series X/S refresh and new controller, a tantalising Bethesda release roadmap, first details of a brand-new Xbox in 2028, confirmation Xbox boss Phil Spencer is awfully keen to buy Nintendo, and more – the US Federal Trade Commission has stepped forward to quell any bubbling conspiracy theories and emphatically state it was not responsible (it was Microsoft).
Today’s barrage of Xbox news all came from confidential Xbox documents, dated April 2022, that were originally shared by Microsoft as part of the FTC’s case against the company’s proposed $69bn Activision Blizzard acquisition. These documents then surfaced publicly last night, providing access to a treasure trove of fully unredacted internal details.
Predictably, internet conspiracy theories have ebbed and flowed throughout to the day regarding who might be have been responsible for the leak and why – but the FTC has moved to make it abundantly clear it wasn’t involved, begining with a statement from Douglas Farrar, the commission’s office of public affairs director, on social media.
“The FTC was not responsible for uploading Microsoft’s plans for its games and consoles to the court website,” Farrar wrote, before elaborating further in a statement to NBC News later in the day. This time around, Farrar was ready to say who was behind the leak, noting, “Microsoft was responsible for the error in uploading these documents to the court.” He then provided further evidence of Microsoft’s culpability on social media, sharing a new court order detailing the accidental release of the company’s confidential information, which noted, “Microsoft provided the link on 14th September and the Court uploaded the exhibits to [the] internet page established for this case.”
As spotted by The Verge’s Tom Warren, the US district court has now removed all files pertaining to the FTC vs. Microsoft case – not just the leaked confidential documents – from its publicly accessible server. Microsoft, for its part, is yet to comment on today’s remarkable events.