Michael Pachter: Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Shift a Few Million from PlayStation to Xbox - NewsWilliam 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.
"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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TrunksWD.