Microsoft acquiring ZeniMax Media alongside Bethesda Softworks and its other subsidiary studios continues to birth all kinds of possibilities for the oncoming next-generation of consoles. Some believe that Microsoft will leverage its newly boosted first-party lineup to make the competition sweat. Others though believe that Microsoft will mostly be leveraging its new, monstrous acquisition for Xbox Game Pass across all supported platforms and devices.
Speaking with GamingBolt in a recent interview, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter stated that the Bethesda-acquisition will likely not impact PlayStation 5 in any significant manner during the launch year. The acquisition though will be greatly beneficial for Xbox Game Pass, but which will likely not translate into boosting sales of Xbox Series X either.
“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,” said Pachter. “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 also noted that the real impact of the Bethesda-acquisition will start to be noticed once highly anticipated games like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 roll out in either late 2021 or beyond. That is when Microsoft will probably start releasing exclusive Bethesda content for Xbox Series X.
“It really depends on the deals that were in place,” explained 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.”
Pachter believes that Microsoft will eventually consider the possibility of limiting new games by Bethesda Softworks to only Xbox Series X and/or PC. However, even such exclusive agreements will likely not impact Sony Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation 5. The reason being that Bethesda Softworks tends to release only one or two high-profiled games in every generation. While there will be players switching from PlayStation to Xbox, majority of them will stick to PS5 when given the option to choose between the two. Either that or they will rely on Xbox Game Pass on PC to enjoy those exclusives.