After spending $70 billion on Activision Blizzard… What if Microsoft bought the next Nintendo?

Phil and Bowser

In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you’ll find all the weird stupid stuff we can’t match anywhere else. Some may call it “filler”; we like “an entire page for making terrible jokes that are factually related to the content of the story”.

We don’t have pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes – so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Next page. Today we imagine that phone call maybe happened when Microsoft called Nintendo…

Great exclusive news, everyone: We at Nintendo Life received a transcript of a phone call between Microsoft’s Phil Spencer and Nintendo of America’s Doug Bowser, shortly after Announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. How do we get it? Don’t worry about it. Why does our source send it to Nintendo Life, and not somewhere written about Microsoft? Don’t worry about it.

Our scene begins in the Redmond office of Microsoft’s Xbox Gaming division. Phil Spencer is marching down a hallway, towards a door with a sign on it that says “Phil Spencer’s Room, No PlayStation fans allowed”. Yes, this was recorded in the transcript. Stop asking questions.

One of the presentation materials we at Nintendo Life managed to get
One of the presentation materials we at Nintendo Life managed to get

PHIL: Congratulations, keep my calls for the next two hours. And cancel all my meetings.

MARJORIE: All your meetings? What about Viva Piñata 3 at 11 o’clock? I think you’re excited about that—

PHIL: Remove it.

[Phil Spencer slams his door and slides the “AVAILABLE” sign to “IN A MEETING”. He sits at his gigantic desk and picks up his Master Chief Funko Pop.]

PHIL: Do this, John.

[He picks up the phone and speed-dials “1”.]

DOG: Hello, Douggy B is talking.

Doug! That’s Phil.

DOUG: Phil, I’m pretty busy today, I don’t have time for the Smash—

PHIL: Not so. That is… well, did you see the news?

Bitch Article ActiBlizz? Wow, yes. Is that money in Game Pass?

PHIL: Game Pass, Minecraft, Halo, and I also think Satya found several billion in an account that he forgot.

DOG: Good. But what does that have to do with Nintendo?

PHIL: Not much, am I right?

DOG: Hahahaha yeah imagine Call of Duty on Switch

PHIL: Hahahaha Crash Bandicoot in Smash Bros

DOG: But seriously…

PHIL: Well, I’m really serious about this, Doug. With Activision, Blizzard, and King raking in even more money for Big X, we’ll have to find things to do with all that money.

DOG: Continue.

PHIL: Remember that time you laughing we left the room when we recommend to buy Nintendo?

DOUG: I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard of it.

PHIL: Well, that was 20 years ago. And now… I have a new business proposition for you, and this time, you won’t laugh. Because, Doug…we can unite our forces. Nintendo and Xbox, against Sony. Red and green versus blue. Think about what we can do together.

DOUG: You’re offering to buy a Nintendo.

PHIL: Together we can rule the world.

DOUG: You’re hoping to throw enough money at a 150-year-old video game company that we agree is owned by Microsoft.

PHIL: For great number of of money.

DOUG: Basically, Nintendo invention friend.

PHIL: You should listen to me, Doug! Especially now that we have a steady stream of ActiBlizz games. Think about metaverse opportunities.

DOUG: I’m a fan of the metaverse, Phil, that’s true.

PHIL: So this is my pitch. And I’ll give it to you in a few helpful bullet points, because we’re entrepreneurs and we love bullet points.

DOG: Oh my god, Phil, I love and cherish bullet point.

PHIL: Okay. Bullet number one. Three words: ForzaMario Kart.

DOG: Huh.

PHIL: Remember that time you put Mercedes Benzes in Mario Kart?

DOUG: I really don’t want to.

PHIL: Imagine that. But that’s been every sports car in the last 50 years. And Mario is motivating them. Picture this: Yoshi in a Bugatti, dropping a banana peel out the window. Shy Guy’s got to the top in a 2010 Audi TT. Bowser shot it in a Ford Mustang, and Waluigi got a contemplative purple Jaguar E-Type.

DOG: Uh huh. I am taking notes.

[Doug is doodling Peach in a Mini Cooper.]

A five-minute PhotoShop by Forza Mario Kart was emailed from Phil Spencer to Doug Bowser after the meeting
A five-minute PhotoShop by Forza Mario Kart was emailed from Phil Spencer to Doug Bowser after the meeting

PHIL: Second point: We can share Chris Pratt.

DOG: Oh, I love Chris Pratt. He’s very funny. [laughs]

PHIL: I love his movies about the man with one personality trait and a six pack!

DOG: Me too! But that’s more of a deal for friend, right? I mean, we’ve got him.

PHIL: Oh. I guess so.

[Phil scratches out the words “gritty Guy Ritchie heist movie: Chris Pratt as Clippy?”]

PHIL: Well, uh… Oh! You can integrate Microsoft characters into Smash Bros. Cortana, Ori, the dog in Fable 2…

DOG: The last thing Masahiro Sakurai to me is “never say the words ‘Smash Bros’ and ‘new character’ to me again”, so I don’t think that’s likely.

PHIL: Sure. Yes. Well… Tell you, we’ll give you the Rare back. How does that sound?

DOG: But we had Banjo-Kazooie comes to Nintendo Switch Online.

PHIL: There’s a new one Perfect darkness game. It’s an Xbox exclusive.

DOG: Mmm, but that’s not Rare, is it?

PHIL: Sea of ​​Thieves?

DOUG: Won’t run on Switch. And have you try use our online multiplayer?

PHIL: Good point. How about Zelda X Fables?

DOG: I think incessant fart jokes make for a very odd Zelda.

PHIL: Tingle is definitely fart.

DOUG: Our official internal company line is “as if Tingle never existed”.

PHIL: Candy Crush Go?

DOUG: How will it work? Are you catching jelly beans?

PHIL: I don’t know! We can just ask Niantic to figure it out and make all the cash.

DOG: Hmm.

PHIL: Viva Pinata?

DOG: That’s the most persuasive thing you’ve said, Philip.

PHIL: Okay, good, good!

[Phil scans his list. Most things are crossed out.]

Screenshot of Phil Spencer's PowerPoint presentation titled "nintendo_xbox_xbendo_final_final2.pptx"
Screenshot of Phil Spencer’s PowerPoint presentation named “nintendo_xbox_xbendo_final_final2.pptx”

PHIL: Uhhh… Oh! Here’s a pitch: Screensaver on Nintendo Switch.

DOUG: Screensaver?

PHIL: Yeah, like… remember that one with the maze?

DOUG: I don’t think anyone uses screensavers anymore.

PHIL: That’s right, because nobody really still uses a CRT monitor. Or OLED screen. Riiiiight?

DOG: …

PHIL: Good thing there’s no OLED panel, haha!

DOUG: … You have made your point clear.

We will really be disappointed by this.
We will really be disappointed by this.

PHIL: And, tell you what, we’ll offer Encarta on Switch.

DOG: Encarta?!

PHIL: You love Encarta. I’ve seen the number of hours you spend with MindMaze alone.

DOUG: How do you know that? MindMaze isn’t even on Steam.

PHIL: I work at Microsoft, Doug. I see everything.

DOG: So far, your only compelling propositions are Viva Piñata and Encarta, Phil. And I don’t think Nintendo fans will be interested in a bunch of 20 year old games.

PHIL: Isn’t that your whole business model?

DOG: Shut up.

PHIL: Okay, okay. One last idea for you.

DOUG: Better to be good. The superiors won’t even see it as it is.

PHIL: What if… What if I add again Nintendo Switch to my game price? Open?

[Doug hangs up.]

Another PhotoShop by Spencer, emailed to Bowser.  No reply received.
Another PhotoShop by Spencer, emailed to Bowser. No reply received.

So… it’s unlikely that Nintendo will end the Xbox’s stable horse game. But perhaps you have a more convincing argument for Doug Bowser? Let us know in the comments section.


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