April 15, 2024

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Sharpie with magical sparks shooting up, over revised Sony docs

Goofy Sharpie survey reveals major PlayStation budgets and revenues – Ars Technica

Zoom in / Sharps are great for so many things—marking leftovers, writing “bedroom” on packing boxes, and damaging dry-erase boards. It is not the best tool for sensitive documents submitted at a federal hearing.

Urich Lawson

Most people know AAA games cost a lot, but they can also be cash cows if they’re successful. Now, since Sharpies can fail to fully redact paper documents if you scan them, we can work out some of Sony’s PlayStation game budgets, profits, headcount, and other numbers.

As reported by The VergeThe documents were provided by Sony PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. Introducing Ryan is part of the ongoing work FTC v. Microsoft A hearing resulting from the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard on antitrust grounds. By giving away secret FTC numbers for a AAA game’s performance, Sony aims to show how Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty as an exclusive franchise could hurt Sony (despite emails to the contrary).

But because of the interaction between paper, printer ink, Sharpie ink, and scanners, many people, including journalists, can see these numbers. Some of the biggest ones:

Elsewhere in the documents, Sony’s Ryan suggests that 1 million PlayStation owners play Call of Duty games exclusively, with up to an additional 20 million spending either large portions or a majority of their PlayStation time in-game.

Microsoft, too, has shown its hand more than it intended in the hearing so far. Earlier this week, internal Microsoft emails show that the Xbox division is considering this Purchases from Sega, Bungie, or Hitman Creator IO Interactive. The goal, in 2020, was to “spend Sony out of business,” according to Matt Botti, president of Xbox Game Studios. Microsoft told The Verge That the email represents “industry trends we never follow” and has nothing to do with the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

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