Michael Pachter: Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Shift a Few Million from PlayStation to Xbox

Michael Pachter: Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Shift a Few Million from PlayStation to Xbox - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 October 2020 / 2,755 Views

Microsoft last week announced it has acquired Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Xbox Game Studios will grow from 15 to 23 studios and Microsoft now owns the rights to several high-profile video game IPs, like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, Dishonored, and more.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter speaking in an interview with GamingBolt said the acquisition will shift a few million people away from buying the PlayStation 5 to buying an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

"I’d say if you want to play new games from Bethesda, you’ll have to buy an Xbox, or sign up for Game Pass, which is cheaper,' said Pachter. "Clearly Game Pass works, so if you’re playing on PC, you can get Bethesda games that way. But if you’re a PlayStation fan, you’re not going to be able to play new Bethesda games on there.

Michael Pachter: Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Shift a Few Million from PlayStation to Xbox

"It’s really hard to know what will happen to the catalog titles, theoretically Fallout 3 and 4, Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein Youngblood, DOOM, those are all on PlayStation, and my guess is you can still continue buying and playing them on there. But I also think these games will all show up on Game Pass after the acquisition closes, so they just made Game Pass a much more compelling value, because you can play everything Bethesda’s ever made for $15 a month. So I expect it will help Microsoft’s subscription numbers pretty well."

Pachter does see The Elder Scrolls VI as a system seller and that it will be an Xbox exclusive and by itself shift some people towards purchasing an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

"Bethesda’s studios, they are not prolific, but they do put out one or two games a year at least," he said. "For example the last Elder Scrolls game came out in 2011, and I’ve been predicting a new one will come out since 2016… I will be right eventually!

"But the exact year doesn’t matter, it’s coming out in the next few years, and that will be exclusive to Xbox. So that’s a system seller. It won’t put them ahead of Sony, but it will definitely shift a few million people from PlayStation to Xbox. And to be honest, I’m more of a PlayStation prospective purchaser over Xbox myself, but my number 1 and 2 games of all time are Bethesda titles, and probably five in my top 15; so the odds that I buy a PlayStation and not an Xbox are nil, I’ll end up getting both.

"But if I were to only buy one, before it would have been the PS5, because I don’t really care as much for Microsoft’s output as much as I do for The Last of Us or Spider-Man or games by Sucker Punch. Now it will be Xbox, though, because Microsoft suddenly has at least as many appealing titles as Sony does."

Michael Pachter: Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Shift a Few Million from PlayStation to Xbox

Pachter added he believes Starfield will come out on the Xbox Series X and S, as well as the PlayStation 5 with it likely coming out soon. He said Bethesda games coming out in 2021 and later will be exclusive to Xbox as long as they were not previously announced for PlayStation.  

"It really depends on the deals that were in place," said Pachter. "Like Starfield I think is coming out soon, so it will probably be on both platforms. It’s really going to be new games coming in 2021 and beyond that will be exclusive, though if any have been announced for PlayStation, I think they will hit PlayStation.

"So it’s not going to have any immediate impact, and like I said, you can go buy Fallout 4 on your PlayStation, it’s still available for you. But I think going forward, Elder Scrolls is a 15 million unit seller, and I think that will sway people to Xbox. I think 2-4 million players who would otherwise have owned PlayStation will now own Xbox."

All future Bethesda games will be coming to Xbox Game Pass on launch day and will release on the Xbox and PC, while a release on other platforms will be on a case-by-case basis.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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23 Comments

LivingMetal (on 30 September 2020)

Pachter spoke. Bethesda Acquisition ineffective confirmed. The console industry is still safe.


UnderwaterFunktown (on 30 September 2020)

Well you had a good run Xbox.


Cerebralbore101 (on 30 September 2020)

Well, that settles it. Bethesda games will definitely come to PS5.


JRPGfan (on 30 September 2020)

The Michael Pachter curse..... he mostly says obvious things, and predictions that turn out oppersite of what he says.


ClassicGamingWizzz (on 30 September 2020)

They Will trade getting games from naughty dog, insomniac, santa Mônica etc because of a game from a studio that release the last elders scrolls in PS3 broken to the point of being unplayable.


ArchangelMadzz (on 30 September 2020)

I mean 4 million players means PS5 109 million XSX 52 million confirmed. Also we all know this guy is a joke.


xl-klaudkil (on 30 September 2020)

He has such a good track record of being right. Ow wait..


Vendrom (on 30 September 2020)

“I've predicted that a new Elder Scrolls will come out since 2016” Yeah, a credible source. But for real, this is obvious, no analyst needed to say it


aiwass (on 30 September 2020)

I mean, Pachter is literally always wrong, but I feel like he might not be too far off. People have cartoonish expectations about the potential shift in the market. It's going to take more than a couple of good decisions to totally overtake the lead Sony had. Not saying it won't happen but it doesn't seem realistic.


LivncA_Dis3 (on 30 September 2020)

it will shift millions of sure ps fan buying a ps5, that is obvious!


Kanemaru (on 30 September 2020)

Are they seriously going to bring that on everyday? Okay, we heard microsoft bought it, whatever they planned to do with it. You can stay quiet with that now!


vonny (on 30 September 2020)

" I will be right eventually" The Patcher philosophy


sales2099 (on 30 September 2020)

Damn pachter curse, things were going so well.


Immersiveunreality (on 01 October 2020)

The pachter curse can turn out to be a blessing if those few millions turn in many millions.


  • 0
JON0 (on 30 September 2020)

idk about shifiting a few million, but i can definitely see some ps5 owners buying a series s so they don't miss out on whatever Bethesda games they like.


shikamaru317 (on 30 September 2020)

Pachter is occasionally right, and this will be one of those times that he is right, assuming that MS is smart and makes all future Zenimax games Xbox/PC/xCloud only. I'd say that only 2-4m hopping from Playstation to Xbox over this is a bit too conservative though, Fallout 4 alone alone sold 10m+ copies lifetime on PS, if even a third of those Fallout fans on PS buy an Xbox to play Fallout 5 (instead of playing it on PC or xCloud), that is already 3.3m+ Xbox's sold. And course there is also fans of Doom, Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, etc. to take into consideration, while there may be some overlap between the various fans of each IP, each of those franchises may have some unique fans that would add to the overall Zenimax playerbase on PS who might get an Xbox now if those series stop releasing on PS.


SKMBlake (on 30 September 2020)

Well if you make obvious statements, hard to be wrong.


  • +2
LivingMetal (on 30 September 2020)

Wolfenstein fan here. But the series has at least for now ran its course for the foreseeable future.


  • +6
shikamaru317 (on 30 September 2020)

@LivingMetal I'd guess that there is a sequel to Wolfenstein 2 and Youngblood in development, set in the late 80's or early 90's.


  • +1
method114 (on 30 September 2020)

The problem is MS hasn't announced if anything will be exclusive they've been so vague about what's going to happen that it's obvious PS will get some of those major titles. They are being vague on purpose because if they say "yea lot of those games will come to PS" then people don't have to worry about buying an xbox. Right now it's everyone else saying things about games being exclusive to MS while MS stays quiet and gives vague answers.


  • +3
LivingMetal (on 30 September 2020)

@shikamaru317 Sadly, Youngblood didn't strike me as appealing. Mediocre reviews didn't help either. And you need to stay with the main focus which is William "B.J." Blazkowicz the man himself.


  • +1
VAMatt (on 01 October 2020)

If MS makes most or all of the games XB/PC exclusive, I'd say shifting a few millions players is right. But, it would probably also cause several million PS owners to double dip and get an XB, even if they wouldn't have done so previously. So, it may be good for 6-10 million console sales.


Dante9 (on 01 October 2020)

I think more people will just end up buying both consoles, rather than jump ship completely.