“It’s just us up here, Todd,” says billionaire and household name Bill Gates, stoking the fire in a remote cabin, miles away from civilization. He turns to Todd Howard, who is restrained to a chair, tight ropes leaving marks on his signature leather jacket. “No more ports. No more re-releases. Just you, me, and a computer with the Creation Engine loaded onto it. You get the picture here, Todd?”
Howard, mind still fuzzy, struggles to raise his arms out of his chair to reach the keyboard as Bill pushes the wooden seat closer to the desk. “I was a big fan of Skyrim, you know,” Bill says. “But it’s time for something new. And you and I both know Starfield isn’t real and is never coming out, so it’s time for you to deliver.”
Howard works late into the night, trying to please Gates as the madman rants about his reasoning behind acquiring Gamestop: a man unhinged. “They’ll look for you, but they’ll never find you out here,” Gates tells Howard while watching him frantically copy the asset file for a dragon from Skyrim.
The hour grows late. Howard looks up from the computer, in a daze, his mind drifting back to his wife at home. “It’s finished,” he says. “It’s as finished as one man can make it.”
Gates sits down and plays the game. The character wakes up in a castle, and is attacked by a dragon. Upon killing the dragon, Gates clips through the ground and begins falling into the void underneath the rendered world above. Howard begins to quietly pray under his breath and Gates takes a deep breath and stands up from the desk.
“Yeah, no, this will make a few hundred million easy. Let’s start pre-orders. Will you free George Sherman from the basement?”