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Opinion Business Microsoft’s Bethesda Acquisition Will Push Out More Xbox Consoles But Won’t Impact PS5 – Michael Pachter

IbizaPocholo

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Recently, we spoke to industry analyst Michael Pachter, and asked about the ways he thinks the deal will impact the industry in the long and short term.

The first and most obvious way Microsoft benefits from the Bethesda acquisition, according to Pachter, is Game Pass- which will have an even more impressive library in the future, not only thanks to upcoming Bethesda releases, but also older Bethesda games joining the service down the line.

“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,” Pachter said. “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.”

Meanwhile, one game in particular Pachter sees as a major system seller for Microsoft is The Elder Scrolls 6, which he predicts will be exclusive to Xbox and PC. As per Pachter, though The Elder Scrolls 6 and games like it won’t automatically put Microsoft ahead of Sony, they will contribute significantly in that effort.

“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.”

So what impact does Pachter think the Microsoft-ZeniMax deal will have on Sony and the PS5 in the short term? “Not much,” says Pachter, who thinks that it will be with games coming in 2021 and beyond – when Microsoft starts releasing exclusive Bethesda content – that the impact will start to be felt.

“It really depends on the deals that were in place,” he said. “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.”
 
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Deleted member 801069

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“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”

what? the way he words it makes it seem like he thinks Starfield is being released this year
 
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Clear

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Look at Zenimax output over the last decade. Its not going to get any faster so I'd expect maybe 8 titles over the next 10 years.
Its just not likely to have much impact in the long term.
 
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Gavon West

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Look at Zenimax output over the last decade. Its not going to get any faster so I'd expect maybe 8 titles over the next 10 years.
Its just not likely to have much impact in the long term.
Doubt that. Their under new management now. Having the resources and financial backing of Microsoft will help tremendously.
 

nikolino840

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Is still alive! It's been a while i haven"t see pachter's name
 
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Stuart360

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Patcher needs to stop. Starfield will be an Xbox exclusive. Bank it.
Starfield is much closer than the other games so there is always a chance that some deal is already in place. Everything after it though, no chance.
 

Concern

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Thanks guy that gets absolutely fuck all right.

OT: Anyone expecting Ps5 sales to take a hit is just a fanboy, wishful thinking, or both. Only Sony can self sabotage their sales and thats even a hard sell when most fans are conformists.
 

quest

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Although its Patcher, i agree with him. I think once the bethesda games start hitting, youy will see a sizebale jump in Xbox sales. Ps5 will still go along selling well regardless.
I think that will be the outcome more dual console owners like previous generations that went down this generation. Once the 30 teams start rolling on gamepass the series x will be a very attractive second console for lots of core gamers. That was something Microsoft lost out on this time.
 

Gavon West

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Starfield is much closer than the other games so there is always a chance that some deal is already in place. Everything after it though, no chance.
Word is Sony tried to get Starfield exclusive before the deal went through. Nothing became of it though. And I dont think Microsoft is going to change it. This is a proper mega release thatll likely be a tentpole franchise. Guaranteed it sells a few million consoles and Gamepass subs. No way Sony gets it. Phil locked it down exclusive officially just a few days ago.

"One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios. "
 
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On Demand

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By the time those two Bethesda games are released Sony will have many of their first party games out. Among new IP’s. They would have grown their studios too.

Basically whatever impact Bethesda games being exclusive will have will be cancelled out by PS5 software and acquisitions.

Bethesda purchase doesn’t have any immediate affect. It’s long term. Which in 3 to 5 years will be nice for MS, but won’t change anything in regards to PS5 sales and software output.

Don’t assume Sony will be standing still all that time.
 
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ExKing

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Pachter is irrelevant, i've never seen an analyst that was wrong so often. I remember his takes on the Switch. He was planning the Switch to sell 8 million units a year, while Nintendo was aiming for 20... Ooops.

 
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Clear

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Doubt that. Their under new management now. Having the resources and financial backing of Microsoft will help tremendously.

Expect the opposite, it doesn't work that way. 343i have had all the resources and backing of MS for years and Halo Infinite still got pushed back despite it being their big launch title. The Initiative still haven't shown a damn thing and Phil was quietly bemoaning this during the Zenimax acquisition by saying how hard it is to build a studio from scratch!

Basically getting corporatized again just adds another layer of management bullshit to navigate, and boy do those suits like to get hands on things they "own". (i.e. can get blamed for when things go wrong!)
 
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Gavon West

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By the time those two Bethesda games are released Sony will have many of their first party games out. Among new IP’s. They would have grown their studios too.

Basically whatever impact Bethesda games being exclusive will have will be cancelled out by PS5 software and acquisitions.

Bethesda purchase doesn’t have any immediate affect. It’s long term. Which in 3 to 5 years will be nice for MS, but won’t change anything in regards to PS5 sales and software output.

Don’t assume Sony will be standing still all that time.
You forget Bethesda's huge backlog of games. All coming to Gamepass. This includes the rest of the studios under the Zenimax umbrella. Sony isnt expected to stand still. They'll have an uphill battle though. We all win.
 

Gavon West

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Expect the opposite, it doesn't work that way. 343i have had all the resources and backing of MS for years and Halo Infinite still got pushed back despite it being their big launch title. The Initiative still haven't shown a damn thing and Phil was quietly bemoaning this during the Zenimax acquisition by saying how hard it is to build a studio from scratch!

Basically getting corporatized again just adds another layer of management bullshit to navigate, and boy do those suits like to get hands on things they "own". (i.e. can get blamed for when things go wrong!)
Covid played a huge part in Infinite's development and The Initiative is still a brand new studio.
 
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quest

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By the time those two Bethesda games are released Sony will have many of their first party games out. Among new IP’s. They would have grown their studios too.

Basically whatever impact Bethesda games being exclusive will have will be cancelled out by PS5 software and acquisitions.

Bethesda purchase doesn’t have any immediate affect. It’s long term. Which in 3 to 5 years will be nice for MS, but won’t change anything in regards to PS5 sales and software output.

Don’t assume Sony will be standing still all that time.
Not at all they are different types of games with different audiences. The person who wants starfield is going to go get it on PC or xbox nothing on PS5 is scratching that itch. Like Microsoft has nothing like god of war. Apples and pears.
 
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No, the Bethesda acquisition will sell PS5 consoles but won't impact Xbox

Lol that's def not what he said, either.

Really he's just saying what should be a logical conclusion: the gap from this gen will most likely massively shrink even when just considering the traditional console model. For the people who keep calling for true competition, this should be welcomed, because it'll also be a catalyst for Sony to start more seriously diversifying their product offerings and ecosystem (and to make them more future-proofed).

The 3:1 we saw this gen between them will probably be cut down to a 1.5:1 to 1.25:1 next-gen, and that isn't considering the spread of MS's ecosystem on mobile and PC. That basically means if MS sells, say, 50 million Series systems in a 3-year time frame, I can see Sony moving between 62.5 million to 75 million units in the same time frame.

I don't know how realistic it'll be for MS to get back to the 1:1 ratio they had with Sony in 7th gen, much less take a notable ratio lead in systems sold....it's not a 0% possibility, just a bit of a small one IMO, but it's not like their strategy going forward is 100% hinged on requiring selling exactly on par (let alone outselling) Sony on console hardware sales. A lot of other things would have to shift in their favor narrative-wise for that to happen again, and (preferably) more market saturation in foreign territories (Gamepass & Xcloud will help there for sure, but I'm talking in terms of Series systems specifically here).

That doesn't mean they don't want to move systems, though, and stuff like the Zenimax deal bolster them on that front as much as they do for their cloud gaming subscription initiatives and the ecosystem at large.

Starfield is much closer than the other games so there is always a chance that some deal is already in place. Everything after it though, no chance.

From what we know Sony were probably in talks for timed exclusivity for Starfield but I strongly doubt anything was finalized there especially considering MS purchasing Zenimax recently. So I doubt any deal for timed exclusivity was actually set up or Sarah Bond wouldn't be quoted on Twitter talking about Starfield only in relation to Xbox and PC.

Yes some people are trying to take that to mean they were only highlighting the Xbox/PC version of the game and it's no indication it's not coming to PS5 but....c'mon xD. The timing of such a statement, the intentional ambiguity, the fact MS are already considering things on a case-by-case basis, knowing the impact they need to be making with ecosystem exclusives as soon as next year, etc...

...I was still kind of thinking a small chance Starfield'd be coming to PS5 later down the line, but considering the type of message that could send to PS gamers (i.e they really don't need to invest in MS's ecosystem at all, including Gamepass, which is what MS wants to push among other things), but in light of some further thinking I think Starfield's off the table, too.

And I don't really blame MS one bit on that. What's Sony giving them game-wise in return to make it a fair deal on their end? Nothing, and that's Sony's choice. So it should be MS's choice to do the same with their 1P titles, too. Fair is fair 🤷‍♂️
 
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HarryKS

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How the fuck does he still have a job as an analyst if his predictions are always wrong and why do people pay him any attention?
His predictions are not wrong. You're only seeing parts of what he has to say. The big reports are for his employers.
 
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Stuart360

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TeKtheSanE

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So everyone de facto thinks Phil is a liar, huh


Kotaku sucks read the actual interview. I'm 99% sure that Phil is focused on targeting the Xbox Ecosystem which is what he means when he doesn't want to lock you down since the Xbox ecosystem contains all android smartphones, xbox consoles, and windows PCs.

That quote is over-used and most people don't actually read the context of where it is from.
 

darthpaxton

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No because he's clearly talking about XSX games on XB1,. it even says it in the article. I'm sure you already knew that though.
Haha. You're exactly correct. So many folks here hold that quote up like it's definitive proof that Bethesda games will come to PS5 or that Phil is a liar, but if they bothered reading the article, it's pretty clear he's actually talking about XS games still being available on XBO. It's the same initiative that drove Xbox to bring 360 and OG Xbox games to Xbox One. Phil doesn't think you should have to leave you games behind or that you should get left behind on hardware in the Xbox ecosystem.
 
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So everyone de facto thinks Phil is a liar, huh

I mean. Anytime, anywhere, anyone, but I'm not seeing any PlayStations in this ad.
 
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I dunno how to feel. It really depends on how expensive it is to make a good PC that can outperform these new consoles. If I can't easily build something that will ass blast a Series X in 2021 then yeah I'll probably buy a Series X because even if Fallout is on a decline I'm pretty hopeful it gets good again. If shit like a Prey 2 or Doom 3 are exclusive? Fuck. Elder Scrolls VI... well... I can take it or leave it, I soured on Skyrim after 100 hours (laugh if you want but that's nothing in a game like that) but that doesn't mean I'm closed off to a new one being something special. I will always go where the games I want are, brand loyalty is for suckers.
 

VAVA Mk2

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His predictions are not wrong. You're only seeing parts of what he has to say. The big reports are for his employers.
I have heard his big predictions for years and years and years and he is always wrong.
 

The_Mike

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Didn't Pachter get the memo that Bethesda only makes crap games after the acquisition from Microsoft?

No matter how great games Microsoft would output, they'd never be able to match the brand loyalty from Sony players.
 
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I don't think Sony should just let Microsoft have such an advantage with WRPGs and FPS games. Especially WRPGs. Those gamers have already decided that they are going with Xbox. If they can't buy a WRPG studio then they should build some of their own and poach talent in a visible way to let gamers know that they are not being ignored.
 
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dvdvideo

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Makes zero sense to say xbox will sell a lot better and it will have no impact on Sony, who sell an almost identical product, of course it will. There isn't an infinite amount of casual buyers out there.
 
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MrFunSocks

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Oh it’s just pachter, so as reliable as a reeeee/gaf “insider”. Nothing to see here. He must be insanely good at other parts of his job, because his predictions are just terrible and wrong, always have been.


I don't think Sony should just let Microsoft have such an advantage with WRPGs and FPS games. Especially WRPGs. Those gamers have already decided that they are going with Xbox. If they can't buy a WRPG studio then they should build some of their own and poach talent in a visible way to let gamers know that they are not being ignored.
If it’s not a third person single player story driven linear cinematic action adventure game Sony don’t care.
 
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Snake29

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Word is Sony tried to get Starfield exclusive before the deal went through. Nothing became of it though. And I dont think Microsoft is going to change it. This is a proper mega release thatll likely be a tentpole franchise. Guaranteed it sells a few million consoles and Gamepass subs. No way Sony gets it. Phil locked it down exclusive officially just a few days ago.

"One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios. "

That could still mean that the game was already in full development for PS5 and Xbox.

So I wouldn't shout too soon that it won't come to PS5.
 

Dee Dah Dave

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I think Xbox will claw a bit of console market share back from Sony this generation. Plus they will expand in other areas with PC, Gamepass and Cloud. So they are probably going to have more success going forward, but I don’t think Sony need to worry just yet.

Maybe in 10 years though if Microsoft change the landscape and Sony drag their heels, then who knows.
 

Pallas

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I kind of get what he means, he’s pretty much saying that Sony will continue selling well but the Series X should, theoretically be a big improvement over this gen sales wise. Someone mentioned dual console users, and I agree. You’ll see more people who would only buy one console, end up buying both and say what you will about TES and Fallout, both are megaton series aside from FO76 which from what I’ve heard has improved greatly but it really wasn’t for those who enjoy a traditional Fallout game.

TES6 will move Series S/X consoles and Gamepass subs, if they make FO5, it will do the same, that’s not counting Doom either which has its own big fan base.

and who knows, maybe will get a sequel to Prey 2 and that ...

so sought after remaster and sequel to their best game, BRINK!:messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Dr Bass

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I mean. Anytime, anywhere, anyone, but I'm not seeing any PlayStations in this ad.

This is the lamest, most juvenile ad campaign (or maybe it's a platform slogan), that I've ever seen. "Gamers" already seem to be entitled self-righteous jerks as a group, based on their behavior on the net. They don't need a company kowtowing to that mindset.

You spend your whole life being taught by your parents and your elders that no, you are not the center of the universe, even if you think so.

Then Microsoft comes along with this crap. The only thing I see when I see this ad is "We actually think you're an idiot, and you should buy all our shit."
 
Sep 20, 2005
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Oh it’s just pachter, so as reliable as a reeeee/gaf “insider”. Nothing to see here. He must be insanely good at other parts of his job, because his predictions are just terrible and wrong, always have been.



If it’s not a third person single player story driven linear cinematic action adventure game Sony don’t care.


It seems that way. I think they need to clean house personally. They are too woke and don't have a good feel for the market anymore. They don't tend to enough genre's. They can't just coast on their established IPs and their Japanese studios are withering on the vine.
 

mcjmetroid

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Patcher's problem is that he always predicts the safest outcome and he can be wrong. Gaming is unpredictable.

He's probably right here. I don't think anyone expects Xbox to outsell playstation but Microsoft might make more money than Sony with gamepass and streaming.