Sony’s confidential PlayStation information has surfaced in court documents. The documents in question were redacted with a black mark and then re-scanned. The text below the black mark is still partially legible.
The court has since withdrawn the documents, but various media, Including The VergeYou have already seen the information. The documents include information about the margins Sony shares with game publishers, Sony’s revenue from the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation and the development costs of some first-party games, including Horizon Forbidden West from Dutch studio Guerrilla Games.
Documents show, among other things, that Horizon Forbidden West took five years to develop and cost $212 million. Three hundred employees worked on this title. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II cost $220 million and has a development team of about 200 employees.
In 2021, fourteen million PlayStation users will spend thirty percent or more of their game time playing Call of Duty, and the document appears to be showing, according to The Verge, although the revised text is difficult to read in places. With six million users, that percentage was more than seventy. According to Sony, about a million PlayStation Call of Duty users play alone on their console.
Sony shared this information with the Federal Trade Commission as part of the FTC’s lawsuit against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. Sony wanted to show that the company stands to lose a lot of sales if Call of Duty becomes an Xbox exclusive. Documents from Sony indicate that the company will generate $800 million in revenue from Call of Duty on PlayStation by 2021. That appears to be $1.5 billion worldwide. The document also reveals that Sony has a contract with Activision to release another Call of Duty game on PlayStation; Which will happen later this year.
Moreover, Sony seems to indicate that half of American PS5 users also own a Nintendo Switch. According to the company, less than twenty percent of the same group of users also own Xbox Series X and S consoles, according to internal surveys by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
This is not the first time classified information has surfaced online during this lawsuit. Previously published documents containing Xbox acquisition targets. Studios like SEGA, Bungie, and Niantic are mentioned. This information should have been revised and subsequently withdrawn by the court.
Images: Sony, through the edge
“Lifelong zombie fanatic. Hardcore web practitioner. Thinker. Music expert. Unapologetic pop culture scholar.”