Microsoft reportedly responsible for leaking its own Xbox documents

A new court filing has revealed that Microsoft posted its trial exhibits publicly, in unredacted form.
fallout 3 game leak microsoft documents ftc

Microsoft is reportedly responsible for uploading a treasure trove of documents to the public portal of the US court system, seemingly spoiling its own future plans for Xbox due to an accidental lack of redactions. The news was revealed overnight, as US judge Jacqueline Scott Corley released a public statement outlining the error, and where it originated.

“On September 7, 2023, the Court issued an order resolving all remaining sealing issues with respect to the trial exhibits in this matter,” Corley said. “The Court ordered the parties to meet and confer and provide the Court with a secure cloud link to the admitted exhibits with the redactions set forth in the Court’s orders. Microsoft provided the link on September 14 and the Court uploaded the exhibits to internet page established for this case.”

“The parties have notified the Court that the version of the exhibits provided contained non-public information and the Court has removed the trial exhibits from the internet.”

As stated, it appears whoever uploaded the public trial exhibits on Microsoft’s behalf included the unredacted versions of these documents in error, revealing a cavalcade of internal, confidential plans in the process – including for game releases like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion remastered, Dishonored 3, Doom Year Zero, and a sequel to Ghostwire: Tokyo. Plans for new Xbox consoles, including a Series X mid-generation refresh, and a future model utilising the cloud, were also revealed.

Read: New Xbox consoles and controller revealed by court documents

While the offending documents have now been taken down, to be re-uploaded with certain details redacted, it appears the damage has already been done. Nearly every part of the accidental leak has been preserved on social media and online, with any tidbit of news now firmly teased out and appraised.

Commenting on the leak, Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer expressed frustration over how it was revealed. “We’ve seen the conversation around old emails and documents,” Spencer confirmed on Twitter. “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.”

As Spencer states, while the leaked plans are legitimate, it’s fair to assume changes may have been implemented since the documents were originally penned. Changes to the game release schedule in particular are expected – although it’s unknown if these changes extend to delays or cancellations for upcoming, now-anticipated releases.

For now, those keen to see the many consoles, controllers, and games mistakenly revealed in Microsoft’s unredacted court filing will need to remain patient for official reveals.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.