Off Topic: What Would You Do With $2.5 Billion?

Off Topic: What Would You Do With $2.5 Billion?

Late last night the news came in that Microsoft had decided to purchase Minecraft for an insane $2.5 billion. So today’s Off Topic is simple: someone gives you $2.5 Billion. What would you do with it?

At first I thought, “let’s provide clean water for everyone in the world” but apparently that would cost $10 billion. Anyone want to pool in their money?


Okay, let’s just spend it all on stupid stuff. I’m going to build a house with no stairs and you have to scale a climbing wall to get to your bedroom. I’m also going to try and revive Michael Jackson via the powers of wizardry or science, whichever is cheapest.

What would you spend the cash on?


  • Follow my dreams!
    realistically i would buy a Mcdonalds for my house like richie rich and play doodle jump most days.

  • I’d build a house with a secret basement with a cinema in it, only accessible via a hidden doorway. It would also have a recording studio in it. Then I’d probably just become a hermit.

  • Jesus Christ. No one could possibly want or need that kind of money. I’d keep a million for myself, and give away the other 2.49 billion to the clean water cause.

  • Whenever I fantasise about having lots of money, the best feelings would be giving it away to family and friends and helping them out. Nothing else really comes to mind, just living in Australia means I have pretty much anything a person could reasonably want.

    Also a solid gold house and a rocket car.

  • I’d buy a new upper-midrange graphics card

    If I have money left over after that, I’d build my own Hobbiton

  • Help fix issues within Australia (including indigenous) towns by starting a fund/company. we’ll travel around Australia helping all that we can to allow them to live the life that they wish to. Pay for students to go to school from Kindy through to Uni and help speed up the NBN for areas that needed more than Metro areas. Show the current Australian government parties HOW to do things the right way for more than Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne cities. There are a lot of other places in Australia. Just a thought

  • Just about whatever I wanted. I could build or buy somewhere nice to live in just about whatever city I wanted. I wouldn’t need to work, so I could travel the world on a whim. But that’s a boring answer, not really what you wanted. Ok here goes:

    I’d fund development of a dream game. The details are fairly fluid, it doesn’t even have to be my dream game – maybe I get Retro Studios and Nintendo to make a new 2d Metroid game, maybe From Software to make a Demon’s Souls 2, maybe gather up the old members of Rare to make Banjo-Threeie. Once the game’s done, I’d get a single copy printed for myself and never release it.

  • I would invest $100 million in a bank account, live off the interest from that. I’d use the rest to buy my own island along the transatlantic fibre cable, splice myself in and spend the rest of the money on blackjack and hookers.

  • Judging by how much money I found when I cleaned my desk last week I’m going to say put it under something and forget about it. =P

  • If we’re not focussing on the important stuff like actually helping the needy and such, then I’d probably invest 99% of the cash into supporting and building the Australian games industry, offering grants for start-up indies and promoting local talent as much as possible.

    Then I’d probably build a nice house near a beach somewhere and chill for a while.

  • I’d buy wagga, invest the money in infrastructure development, turn the place into a technological hub and give businesses & research outfits significant incentives to base their operations here. The place would be transformed from a shithole into somewhere worth living and where there are actually jobs.

    For all of 6 months and then the usual shit will happen, people will get distracted by the new shiny thing, every advance will fail from lack of support and the town will collapse back into the singularity of mediocrity it is now.

    Then I’d use whatever money I had left to forcibly convert the place into looking 8 bit, just for my amusement. Good luck riding the bus when the wheels are made up of giant pixels you fickle dicks!

  • You don’t really realise how much money $2.5b is until you realise you could use a million dollars every year until you died, and barely made a dent. Which sounds like a good plan – give maybe $2.35b to charity, and live comfortably off a $1m salary for the rest of my life, with plenty left over for loved ones I leave behind.

    • That sounds awesome, I bet if it got really big and profitable Microsoft might even buy it off you ! I wonder if anyone else thought of that? you should pitch it to a small indie developer and see what they think. I heard recently that Notch has some spare time so maybe start with him.

  • Buy a Island, with bar facilities, fibre access and a chef for me and the Mrs that is completely self sufficient (show the world how its done). Hopefully somewhere I can establish my own country or at least out of any other countries control. Live by my rules (which there aren’t many other than be nice to people). Share with family and close friends (no point being filthy rich but lonely and watching your close ones struggle through life) and have a helicopter pad/airfield with pilot ready to pick up anyone who wants to come, stay and chill. Build a games house (that’s right not a game room but a house) with a room for every console and PC.

    Invest a billion to live off interest (although if the self sufficient stuff works out then I could probably donate the interest each time it matures), and probably still have close to a billion to donate to charities or start my own foundation to help me keep busy.

    Oh and a cheeseburger, might even splash on the upgrade to large fries and coke since I can probably afford it………its the simple things in life.

  • Invest heavily in research into immortality. Mostly just for myself and a carefully vetted selection of loved ones. (Ones who could be trusted not to conspire to steal my wealth and power and do something crazy like spread the cure for death to the rest of the world.) Minus a token amount set aside to ensure I live like a fucking king for the rest of my life if the immortality thing fails.

  • After setting up family and friends with houses (NBN of course) etc.

    I’d go to a small town, and build sound stages so I could make movies without interference. Probably do small 10 minute webisodes too.
    Edit: To clarify I meant interference from producers and Hollywood forcing a Romantic subplot into every movie. Take any Batman movie, here we have a character paranoid about keeping his identity secret in the Comics and dropping the Bat Name after two dates. Essentially if I’m making a movie I want to make it my way. And I’d have the funding to do it.

    Build a game studio too

    And my Holiday home is a Castle out in the Australian Bush designed to be self sufficient and Zombie proof. It will also have an Arcade full of classic games.

    I’d have investments so that even if all this goes south I’m set.

    As for charitable acts, I’d go to the worst off schools in the country and offer to build Solar Panels on their roofs and Air Con their classrooms. Buy them all new sports gear for the kids. I’m aware that some schools I’m literally going to be building Classrooms for them. My one rule will be that they must state that all of this was done through their own fund raising and donations from individuals dedicated to enhancing this Country and list what the Government contribution was, on off chance it was more than nothing. My goal would have the community rally around the school with volunteers running after school programs such as sports, cooking classes focused on healthy eating or just a place to hang out.

        • We have a BMD 4K camera, Davinci Resolve CC station and recording gear. You just need to bring some talent, and some lights 🙂

  • Set my family up. Hire a team of financial advisors. See if Elon Musk wants some private backing for SpaceX.

    Continue travelling and drinking (but first class and top shelf).

    And hire a squad of sexy bodyguards. Might have to run that one past the GF..

  • I’d buy a pair of Lasergraphics film scanners and a few thousand TB of HDDs and start archiving all the 35mm movie that are going to be lost otherwise.
    Buy the local cinema and reopen it, hire teens on good wages to staff it. Buy the lot next door and open a skate-rink, and hire some more kids. This town really needs something for kids to do other than hang out at BigW.
    Setup a mowing service that was free for people who need it. Invest the rest so that the Cinema, etc. would have an income to keep it running.

  • Buy my parents everything they have ever wanted, also I guess I’d give some to my brothers too also trust accounts for nieces and nephews.

    I would dump a bunch into philanthropic things, particularly helping homeless people and mentally ill people. And then I would spend my time travelling and more importantly, learning to fly planes and restoring and building WWII era fighters and bombers. I guess I’d have to buy a big paddock to keep them in too.

    I think I’d also like to build a full size Spitfire and a Lancaster out of Lego.

    Also cats. Lots of cats.

  • I’d test the theory that you can have a money bin full of money and go swimming in it like Scrooge McDuck. Seriously though, if you aren’t a giant corporation, what do you spend this stuff on? I suppose I could always buy Minecraft back from Microsoft.

  • Buy my favourite ski resort in Japan, and give all the profits to the townspeople whilst I take care of maintenance/upgrades out of interest earned on whatever is left. Then donate a shedload to charity (or set up a fund), then snowboard until I die 🙂

    • Which is your favorite resort? I’ve been to a few and LOVE talking about it.
      Mine is Cortina, followed very closely by Iwatake. Both in Hakuba (although I’ve gone elsewhere in Nagano).

        • The fire festival!! Nozawa is on my list for January. Going back to Shiga Kogen and Hakuba, and was either going to Nozawa or Myoko as well. I’m pretty sure Nozawa is the go.
          Cortina is powder heaven. It’s at the end of the Hakuba Valley and the weather systems basically get stopped there because of the topography and it DUMPS. If you’ve got 20cm reported at Hakuba 47 or Happo One it’s guaranteed to be 30-40cm at Cortina regardless.
          The main reason Cortina kicks so much arse is because of its layout. You know how Japanese don’t go off-piste? Just stick to the runs? Cortina’s terrain is all off-piste. They couldn’t afford to knock down all the trees, and have the best powder in the region – why not combine the two? So the resort is basically a massive bowl with cat tracks all around the lip. You cruise along and choose a place to drop in, and regardless of where you go you can’t get lost. Injured is another story.
          It’s the best place in Japan for tree skiing and it’s CHEAP. ¥3500 with a ¥1000 lunch voucher and a ¥800 onsen makes your lift pass about $15AU. It’s got a beautiful hotel and incredible facilities. I was there on a day where there was 60cm of fresh on a blue bird day and it was, hands-down, the best fun I’ve ever had on a board. Highly recommended, especially on a powder day.
          Iwatake has a nice mix of groomers and off-piste, with a kick-arse terrain park to boot. It doesn’t have any better or worse snow than anywhere else in Hakuba but it’s never crowded and can cater to all styles and all skill levels. If you know where to go there’s freshies all day because powder hounds go to Cortina and everyone else goes to either Happo One (the biggest) or Hakuba 47 / Goryu (which has the variety but plenty of crowds).
          Shiga Kogen is worth a look as well. 70 lifts, 5 Gondolas, and zero people. Close to the snow monkeys (which you’ve no doubt already hit up) and endless options. I was there for ten days this year and didn’t even get close to seeing it all.
          I love Japan. Haven’t been to Niseko but given the reported amount of drunk Australians being dickheads there… I have no intentions of going. If I want to get plastered and miss half of every snow day because of a hangover I’ll just waste my money at Thredbo.

          • We need to meet. Your thoughts on not going to Niseko, your descriptions of value because of an onsen voucher. You fucking get it 😀

        • SICK video, by the way. Face shots aplenty. I love the bit where you smash a slope then look back at it with that “holy shit, I just did that” look. I’m well familiar with it 🙂 Most of my GoPro footage ends in exactly the same way.
          Some questions –
          1) is that terrain at Nozawa easily accesible? Those trees look like the entirety of Cortina and it looks entirely up my alley.
          2) Is there stuff to do outside of boarding? Shiga is a very Japanese resort where you board all day then retire to your room after eating at the hotel. No bars, no restaurants, it’s all about an onsen downstairs and an early night. That’s all very well and good (and what I’m looking forward to for week 1) but you need at least a LITTLE nightlife.
          3) How extensive is the resort?
          4) How expensive is it?
          5) Are you going again this season? I’m going solo next year (all my usual crew have bailed) and I’m shamelessly looking for people to meet up with over there in January.

          Sick video. Good to see there are other snow-mad boarders on the Kotaku forums!

          • I’m going Jan 27th so will have feet strapped in probably Jan 29th (arrive on the afternoon of the 28th). I’ll be staying until Feb 13th from Memory. You think you’ll be in the area?

            To answer your questions:

            All the terrain I hit is available off the side of runs, however the pointy end of the valley can be difficult to navigate to a novice. There’s usually some tracks to follow though 😀

            There’s a lot of restaurants and Izakaya all over Nozawa. Also some good places for Karaoke. There are bars you can go to, but a higher chance you’ll bump into an annoying Aussie 😛 I usually hang with my Jap mates who all live there but we still go the bar and hit up the pool table and play darts into the wee hours.

            The resort is pretty extensive. A lot of terrain and 3 potential runs you’ll end up on at the bottom. Depending on how hard and risky you want to go, the options are astounding. Even under the gondolas/lifts there’s some ace runs but I follow the locals mainly and they like to stay out of sight which is understandable.

            Expense wise it will set you back 4600 yen a day, but I reckon it’s worth it. Plenty of runs, plenty of different options depending on the weather and generally a good bunch of people on the slopes 🙂 Hit me up on steam for a chat sometime, almindale is the username. That or email me at edwardjones @ 😀

          • 4,600 seems pretty standard. That’s the price at Happo and Shiga – Cortina is so cheap because it’s more or less completely ungroomed. That, and the whole “attracting business” thing.
            Nozawa sounds brilliant. I was looking for somewhere new to go and was tossing up between there and Myoko – I didn’t have a preference, it was more or less a coin flip. I think you’ve convinced me to go.
            As to when I’m going, I’m not sure. I usually go early January for four weeks, which would put me in the area around when Boarding solo is great but off-piste I always prefer having backup just in case.
            Where abouts in Oz are you?
            And yep… I fucking get it. There’s nowhere like it.

          • I’m in Sydney. An OK city, I guess.
            I’ll hit you up on email for some Nozawa accommodation recommendations. Obviously I’m happy to do the same if you want to board anywhere I’ve been – even if it’s just an overnight trip to Hakuba to experience Cortina for yourself.
            Mid Winter with Snow Locals at Hakuba Cortina. 20…:,
            I hung out with these guys a bunch this year but none of my footage made it into their vids. They also put together a better Cortina video but I didn’t want to use all my data finding it. It’s a good cross-section of what to expect should you find yourself in Otari, though – about 40 mins from Hakuba and easily accessible via the free shuttle buses.

  • First, I would drop 1million on save the animals AGDQ 2015 in the first hour of the stream starting.
    Houses/cars for family members
    A castle, one shall be built to my specifications with vineyard, stables, extensive gardens and so on and a week long house warming party will be held complete with a tourney and a big feast etc. Solar and hydro powered and basically self sustaining where possible.
    I’m sure there are a few other things but hey.
    Oh also I would drop another million on kill the animals in the last few minutes of the metroid run.

    • also set up a few bank accounts with a million in each where the interest gets automatically donated to a selection of charities, royal children’s hospital, child’s play, cancer council etc. these accounts will never be touched.

      • I may be wrong but I’ve got the feeling that most banks tend to put a limit on the amount of interest you generate when the account balance reaches a certain amount – not that it’s a bad idea or anything… just not as much of a cash cow that one would expect when presented with that kind of $$.

  • Buy enough property so that all of my loved ones are set up for life and have enough income from investments that they could retire if they wanted.

    I’d then do the same for myself and buy my dream house and dream holiday house(s).

    Then I’d probably hold on to the rest of it & use it to invest in small start-up companies who need an injection as well as bucketloads of kickstarters & pursue every one of my hobbies without the worry of financial restrictions. Once I get sick of investing in small high risk ventures & I’m looking to do less work I’d probably set up a foundation with the purpose of distributing whatever excess amount of $$ I don’t need to charity.

  • I would create a company and invite cherished friends to work there. The job would be to join me travelling around the world visiting interesting places and attending major gaming expos whilst also attending an NBA game here or there. I would also buy an island as a second home for any of us to use as a retreat from the world when there is the inevitable apocalyptic outbreak of some unstoppable virus. Then through investments/interest, I would start providing a lot of charitable and scientific research pursuits large sums of money to help out.

  • I would buy my favourite beach-town, in full including infrastructure, close off public access, demolish all the building and try and return it to it’s natural state, whilst still allowing me to build a little hut close to the water so that I can escape daily life.

    With super-fast internet, of course.

  • Endless winter. Maybe houses in NZ and BC, perhaps I’d buy a heli-ski operation in every continent. Then I’d probably give the remaining 2.4 billion to the freshwater cause.

  • Set up my friends an family with paid of mortgages/homes initially, then figure out something from there.

  • use all my money and power to become king of Australia (yes we have a king or as we call him governor general

  • Put $500m in a trust fund for my family to use when needed, with strict enough rules which force them to work a full time job and have a tertiary education if they want to use any money.

    Channel $500m into funds that give the interest (less any fees) to charity every year.

    Spend $500m on projects focused on sustainable living and education for smaller communities.

    Live off the remaining $1bn.

  • Buy an island in the pacific, preferably with a volcano, build my Evil Lair and become an Evil Mastermind and hold the world to ransom for 1Million Dollars…… Mwahhh ha ha ha ha

  • Maybe pour $1 billion into the australian gaming industry; $1 billion to various charitable organisations and id still have $500 million to do whatever the heck i want with. 😀 most likely starting an indie studio.

  • Another one; I’d sit across a table from Phil Fish, and place $50 000 at a time in front of him, until he agreed to develop Fez 2 😛

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