Here’s everything Microsoft could have bought for $68.7 billion, instead of Activision Blizzard
Microsoft announced on Monday that it will acquire Activision Blizzard, the game publisher behind Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and many other popular game franchises. It’s not just the largest purchase in Microsoft’s history, with its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 now taking second place, but also one of the largest deals in the entire video game industry.
However, there are a lot of other things Microsoft could have spent $68.7 billion on instead of a company with a reputation for workplace harassment.
1. Game Pass for almost everyone on Earth. Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s all-access subscription service for playing and streaming games, and the base tier with access to either Xbox or PC games (but not both) costs $9.99 per month. The human population on Earth is estimated to be around 7.9 billion at the moment, so giving everyone Game Pass to every living person would be around $78 billion each month. That’s a bit higher than $68.7 billion, but there are at least a few people who aren’t interested in video games.
2. Over 229 million Xbox Series S consoles. The Xbox Series S is the cheapest Xbox console right now, and at the retail price of $299, you could buy exactly 229,765,886 of them with the Activision Blizzard purchase price of $68.7 billion. You would have $86 left over, which you could spend on a game or two.
3. Pay off 3% of student loan debt. The US Federal Reserve estimated in the second quarter of 2021, Americans owed a combined $1.73 trillion in student loans. The purchase price of Activision Blizzard won’t put a huge dent in that, but hey, every little bit helps.
4. Over 1.4 billion copies of Just Dance 2022. At the usual retail price of $49.99, Microsoft could give the gift of Just Dance to the entire population of China or India (but not both, sadly). The Switch version is $24.99 on Amazon right now, so if Microsoft is quick, the company could potentially distribute Just Dance to roughly twice as many people. Don’t think too hard about there only being around 100 million Nintendo Switch consoles in existence.
5. Over 8 billion Big Macs. The Big Mac Meal at my local McDonalds (prices vary by location) is $8.49, so $68.7 billion would pay for a little over 8 billion Big Mac Meals. Yum.
6. My old phone. I’m trying to sell an old LG phone I found in a drawer, but no one will take it. Microsoft definitely has enough money, I think the company should buy it.
7. Nearly all of Fox’s entertainment business. The Walt Disney Company closed its acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business in 2019, with the total price coming in at $71.3 billion. That’s a little bit more than what Microsoft is paying for Activation Blizzard, but if Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks through his couch cushions for spare change, he can probably cover the difference.
8. Over 1.8 billion cartridges of HP 65 Tri-color Ink. Printer ink is expensive, but with that much money, Microsoft could buy enough of HP’s XL tri-color ink to print at least 10 or 20 full-color pages.
9. Almost three Sprint carriers. T-Mobile completed its acquisition of the mobile wireless network Sprint in 2020, and the deal was estimated to be around $23 billion. Microsoft could have paid for that nearly three times over. Imagine what could have been — Xbox Game Pass with unlimited phone data included.
10. Some of the International Space Station. Often described as the most expensive single object ever constructed, the bill for the International Space Station (which included the cost of several Space Shuttle orbiters) was $150 billion by 2010, and the station continues to be maintained to this day. Microsoft’s $68.7 billion definitely won’t cover buying the entire ISS, but Microsoft could probably purchase a few of the station’s modules. Maybe the Canadarm?
How would you spend $68.7 billion? Let us know in the comments.