Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, assuming the FTC doesn't take issue with the biggest acquisition in gaming history. The move has big implications for PC gaming and means Microsoft now owns a dizzying array of game studios. After poring over the catalog of classic games Microsoft's getting in the acquisition, we spun up our imaginations and took a shot at predicting what Microsoft will do now.
Here are 28 things this deal makes possible. Almost all of them will surely come to pass.
1. Apple feels serious FOMO, panic-buys Electronics Arts for $68.8 billion.
2. No one at Microsoft understands what Overwatch 2 is. Like, it's a sequel, but it's also the same game? Executives decide to rename it Overwatch 360 to avoid confusion.
3. Someone floats the "MGU," the Microsoft Gaming Universe, in a board meeting. Someone else's entire job is to figure out how to get Spiderman to guest star.
4. Phil Spencer says the words "Tony Hawk 3+4 remake" on a livestream. Millions of 37-year-olds spontaneously burst into tears.
5. Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys For Bob gets to take a crack at Rare's long-neglected platformer series Banjo Kazooie and Conker. Heck, Jet Force Gemini.
6. Double Fine gets its pick of Sierra's adventure game series to reboot. Tim Schafer inexplicably passes up King's Quest and Space Quest to make a violent, erotic thriller titled Phantasmagoria: The Flesh Returns.
7. Blizzard's entire back catalog gets added to PC Game Pass. Warcraft 3 and Starcraft: Brood War become esports again.
8. Clippy joins Overwatch, is S-Tier.
9. Microsoft's handling of an Activision Blizzard unionization effort sets a precedent for the entire tech industry's next decade of worker rights battles.
10. To swap guns in the next Call of Duty you'll need to open your inventory in a Microsoft Edge browser tab.
11. Microsoft tries to turn Battle.net into a full-on Steam competitor, just as we were getting used to all of its games being on Steam.
12. Every single co-worker in your Microsoft Teams call is now an Overwatch character vtuber.
13. Microsoft releases a mash-up of Minesweeper and StarCraft. They call it Minecraft, leading to months of chaos.
14. Microtransactions in big-budget videogames become even more obnoxious as more and more people play them through Game Pass instead of buying them outright.
15. Bobby Kotick literally cackles all the way to the bank.
16. Master Chief will be in Call of Duty now. Nothing will stop this.
17. E3 returns in 2027 just so a future Activision executive can announce the revival of Guitar Hero by shredding on a plastic guitar on stage. Big suits are back in, which really completes the image.
18. Obsidian makes a new Quest For Glory. It kicks ass.
19. 2009's underrated Wolfenstein is finally available again.
20. Ninja Theory's next game is a surprise gritty reboot of The Lost Vikings aiming to rival God of War.
21. We start calling first-person shooters "Doom clones" again, as Raven and MachineGames use id Tech to make new games.
22. After the success of Gears Tactics, Microsoft goes hard on genre crossovers, making a Halo MMO, a StarCraft FPS and a Call of Duty visual novel.
23. Blinx the Time Sweeper threatens to rewind time and prevent the Activision Blizzard takeover if he doesn't get a sequel out of the deal.
24. When writing an Outlook email to your human resources department Clippy will pop up and say "It looks like you're trying to write a grievance! I'll ruin you! I'll ruin you and your attorney and you'll never work again!" before offering you a settlement of $200,000.
25. As a belated apology for shuttering Lionhead, Microsoft decides to bring back Bizarre Creations, announces a new Geometry Wars and Blur 2, then closes it for unknown reasons a few months before the release of either.
26. Disney responds by buying Facebook, Amazon buys Sony, Tiktok buys Discord, Apple buys Nintendo, Tencent buys the literal moon, and Microsoft, in a panic to keep up, accidentally tries to buy itself for $3 bluhzillion. Luckily it's informed bluhzillion is not an actual number.
27. As the New York Times correctly purports, this $68.7 billion sale is about one thing only: the metaverse. Using the extreme body heat of all the constantly furious Call of Duty players it now owns and has placed into Matrix-like energy pods filled with pink Jell-O, Microsoft is the first to develop and unveil the metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg is crushed to lose the battle for the metaverse and renames Meta to TheFacebook, but as foretold by Justin Timberlake in that movie, the "The" isn't "clean" and TheFacebook quickly tanks. Its users, hungry for a constant stream of covid conspiracy theories and MLM schemes, flock to Microsoft's new metaverse. Meanwhile, Tim Sweeney's heartbreakingly beautiful vision of the metaverse—a place where automobile manufacturers can more easily sell you a car—tragically never comes to pass. Despondent and drunk on catfish-flavored moonshine, he deletes Fortnite by smashing its servers with the blunt end of an axe because that's how people dramatically destroy servers in movies. With nowhere to yell the n-word while dressed as bananas, white pre-teens flock to Microsoft's new metaverse along with old and bewildered former TheFacebook users, but the metaverse turns out to just be Minecraft in VR which has been available since, like, 2016. Microsoft quickly goes under and people, with nothing left to do, immediately crash Twitter by sharing too many Wordle scores. With gaming and the internet destroyed, the New Dark Age of Earth begins. Only a nameless few survive.
28. After the $68.7 billion dollar sale, Kotick buys PC Gamer for $68.6 billion and we all retire with personalized platinum helicopters.