Journalists from The Verge attracted attentionthat documents filed by Sony in a US Federal Trade Commission case against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard contained poorly concealed confidential information.
It appears that Sony’s lawyers scribbled over the documents with a black pen, erasing indicators not intended for prying eyes. As it turned out, when scanned, the text appeared through a layer of ink, revealing what was hidden.
The court hastily removed the overly explicit documents from public access, but it was too late: the information reached the population, journalists and even Sony’s competitors. What did the careless editing reveal?
One of the Sony documents contained information on the production budget (excluding marketing costs) for two major PlayStation exclusives – action-adventure The Last of Us Part II and open-world action game Horizon Forbidden West.
As it turns out, The Last of Us Part II took 200 people to develop and cost Sony $220 million, and Horizon Forbidden West took five years and $212 million to produce, involving 300 people.
Another document from Sony reveals how many PlayStation users play Call of Duty. In 2021, more than 12 million people spent more than 30% of their game time in Call of Duty, 6 million more than 70% (an average of 296 hours) and 1 million played full time.
In the same year 2021 Sony earned Call of Duty has over $800 million in the US and $1.5 billion worldwide. And that’s just games – including accessories, subscriptions and everything else, the figure totals $13.9 billion (maybe even $15.9 billion, the text is illegible).