280: The Crystal Ball of Michael Pachter

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The Crystal Ball of Michael Pachter

The most well-known industry analyst (who else can you name?) tells us how he uses the press to get more money, shrugs off fanboys, and predicts the future of the videogame business.

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COME ON, Escapist!.

It's bad enough that you and everybody publish whatever drivel Pachter says in a given week as news. But now, a puff article?. Everybody already knows how much of a tool this guy is.

Please, please, please, stop wasting our bandwidth with Pachter and his pulled-out-of-his-ass predictions. Enough is enough.

An article on Pachter? Yuck. Poor form escapist.

"Because I'm fearless, that means I'm not as cautious as I probably should be, and I say things that upset people. I'll say things like, 'The PSP Go is a rip-off,' and it hurts Sony's feelings. I didn't mean to hurt their feelings, but it was pretty expensive!"

I changed my mind about this guy! He is alright by me! XD

In all fairness he is right, that he is the only analyst I can name and that is something to his credit. Sometimes I don't see the trends he sees but in all honesty I can see where it comes from.

Also like the fact he was candid about y he does what he does

"...I use the press to promote myself so that more investors want to talk to me. That helps me get paid more money."

p.s. yall really should read it, remember never judge a book by its cover :P

well I suppose he had to be right about something, guessing game sales seems like about it tho

While most of the gaming community loathes or calls Michael Pachter insane (even me), Mr. Pachter has an impressive record. His brutal honesty pretty much shows.

The hardest truth of all, the fan boys who said that Mr. Pachter should kill himself for having to recommend charging subscriptions for Call of Duty games, this is what he does for a living. He isn't a fan boy, he's a analyst for the gaming industry and see if any games is successful in relation to the publisher as well as satisfy his clients who invested money into the publishers.

After all, video games industry is growing. Should the media become bored and see a murder simulator, Mr. Pachter would say "This game would not perform well unless it's Grand Theft Auto" to his clients.

Huh, I hadn't heard much about this guy until this article and then did some digging. Seems like an interesting fellow all told, and yea I don't have to agree with him to tip my hat to someone speaking his mind and saying to heck with the opinion polls. He really doesn't have to care what any of us think, we're not his target audience, demographic, whatever. So kudos Mr. Pachter on making money, being productive, and occasionally giving me a laugh with some of the old stuff I looked up that you wrote.

An interesting article that made me only slightly realise that this whole "predicting stuff that may or may not happen" is harder than it seems.

Still hate the man, mind. And I think I would love you forever, Escapist, if you never publish an article on the latest bullshit spewed out of his mouth ever again.

I never understood all the pachter hate.
He's often wrong about games, but he's an amiable guy.

I write for investors because my client base cares if Nintendo is launching a new console ... I try to be as honest, thoughtful and logical as I can. I don't say stuff to get a reaction. I say it because I think it's going to happen or it's right.

Because he works for "the other side", I may not like what he says on certain issues, but
I do respect him.

Bloodeye:
An article on Pachter? Yuck. Poor form escapist.

Did you read it?

I hate Michael Pachter, not only because the media gobbles up all the shit he says, but also because of the crap he says while on Gametrailers.

He's such a tool.

Michael Pachter is a Market Analyst. He advises people on what he thinks.

He's not behind pricing decisions, investment decisions, market changes and so on. He's just a guy doing a job and he helps validate the importance of the gaming market to non-gamers.

I like Pachter, he is sometimes off but it's not easy to make these predictions. He's a well educated man and I enjoy hearing his insights, a lot of which are quite accurate.

paketep:
COME ON, Escapist!.

It's bad enough that you and everybody publish whatever drivel Pachter says in a given week as news. But now, a puff article?. Everybody already knows how much of a tool this guy is.

Please, please, please, stop wasting our bandwidth with Pachter and his pulled-out-of-his-ass predictions. Enough is enough.

What has he done that you disagree with so much!?

He's just a Market Analyst doing his job and a lot of the time he's pretty close, his main errors occur when he predicts a big change which would be tough for anyone.

Damn, I don't want to be in his shoes at all. 70 hours per week to predict and tell the truth or bullshit to an entire community, that's hardcore. And getting flak for it as well. At least, the man makes money.

Bloodeye:
An article on Pachter? Yuck. Poor form escapist.

What is your issue with him or this article? If you can't explain your reasoning then why bother to post a flippant comment?

That's amazing. I can't believe Pachter works a 70 hour week to be wrong most of the time. All Pachter does is state the obvious (e.g.: Xbox 360 will have a price drop at some point in the future). Any time he tries to be more specific (e.g.: Xbox 360 will have a $50 price cut THIS MONTH) he's almost always completely wrong. Kotaku did an analyst roundup last year, summarising a handful of predictions from four or five different analysts to how on the money they were. I believe Pachter had about a 50% hit-rate, and a couple of his guesses were really only half-right but they gave him the benefit of the doubt. Other analysts were more around the 75%-80% mark. So why is Pachter so well known? Is it because he's the most vocal?
I wish someone would give me a fat paycheque to do this professionally, especially if you don't seem to give a damn about actual results. I can usually spot which of Pachter's predictions are going to be wrong, maybe I could do that for a living.

I quite liked the article because I'm interested in what goes on in the life of a market analyst. But Pachter irritates me. I never take a word he says seriously and it amazes me that others still do. That others make important financial decisions on what he says.

i hate pachter and i hate those that write about him even more. I dont have anything against the guy, i just hate how everyone takes his word as god. He is nothing more then a weather man of the game industry, he is either stating the obvious or he is talking out of his ass.

Pachter does one of two things:

States something that gamers already knew for months, or
States something so mindboggingly wrong that we call him out on it.

He really is just useless as a journalist.

phxprovost:
i hate pachter and i hate those that write about him even more. I dont have anything against the guy, i just hate how everyone takes his word as god. He is nothing more then a weather man of the game industry, he is either stating the obvious or he is talking out of his ass.

Putting aside the irony of someone following up "I hate pachter" with "I don't have anything against the guy," for just a moment, you've actually touched on exactly why we did this article. Lots of people know of him, and know that people do take his word as gospel, but few people actually know anything about him - his credentials, how and why he does what he does, and if he's aware of the fact that people hate him like poison.

Susan Arendt:
Lots of people know of him, and know that people do take his word as gospel, but few people actually know anything about him - his credentials, how and why he does what he does, and if he's aware of the fact that people hate him like poison.

Exactly why I found this an interesting article, I'd been wondering that every time I read his name for ages! (of course I was too busy to go and do some digging myself at the time...)

I wish I could get paid for stating the obvious.

:(

DTWolfwood:

"Because I'm fearless, that means I'm not as cautious as I probably should be, and I say things that upset people. I'll say things like, 'The PSP Go is a rip-off,' and it hurts Sony's feelings. I didn't mean to hurt their feelings, but it was pretty expensive!"

I changed my mind about this guy! He is alright by me! XD

Before you start praising him, keep in mind that he conveniently does not mention the fact that he apologised for saying that:

Michael Pachter:
As long as you're giving me a forum, may I please beg your indulgence for a statement? I sincerely regret the choice of words in my response to Geoff Keighley's question in last week's Bonus Round, where I said that Sony is "ripping off" the consumer by pricing the PSP Go at $249.99. I made a poor choice of words, and I do NOT think that Sony is doing anything nefarious in choosing their pricing strategy. The company has the right to price its products at a point that they think is competitive, and has no obligation to sell products at lower than a competitive price. They have been subsidizing purchases of the PS3 since launch, to the tune of 22 million sold at a loss of $100 or more apiece (on average), so if they are able to make a profit on the PSP Go, more power to them. They are pricing at a point that positions the PSP Go competitively with the iPod Touch, and the PSP Go arguably has much more value than the Apple product. Notwithstanding my view that the price point is too high to generate more than a few million units sold, I really think my comment was unfair, and would appreciate your allowing me to clear the air on IndustryGamers.com.

Source: IndustryGamers

On topic...was this a bad article? Not necessarily. However, there are individuals that are far more deserving of attention than Pachter. While I am sure he is not a terrible person in his private life, as a gaming industry analyst, he preety much qualifies as an overpaid viral marketeer. Afterall, it is no coincidence that he has consistently predicted poor results for Nintendo and great results for Sony (except when doing so would make him look ridiculous even by his own standards) in the face of all logic and facts. His "Wii HD" prediction is particularly hilarious. He maintained, with absolute certainty, for a very long time that Nintendo would release a HD version of the Wii, even when Nintendo representatives flat-out rejected the notion on many ocassions. Now, he has even gone so far as to try and spin the statement into meaning that the Move is the "Wii HD" he has been talking about all along. Dear heavens...

To put it simply, Pachter has done nothing to earn the amount of attention that he enjoys from the press. Infact, considering the topic of this Weekly issue, I think the direction chosen for this article was an entirely wrong one. Rather than shed light on someone who is well known, but is most consistent in making predictions that are either entirely false or are blatantly obvious, it would have been much better if the Escapist presented someone who is less known, but who's predictions have been most consistently correct. Not only would the readers of the Escapist (potentially) be introduced to an entirely new personality, we might have also ended up learning why their predictions end up being more spot on than the rest. One thing is clear; it certainly would have ended up being a much more informative read than what we ended up getting.

Don't misunderstand, my intention is not to criticise Tracey John. I am sure she wrote this article with the best of intentions. But the direction that was taken is unfortunate.

I hate Micheal Pachter so much.
You know why? It's in this article "you can bet Pachter's shared his opinion about it on some gaming blog, and he's probably pissed off both publishers and gamers alike." He shared his OPINION and everyone takes him seriously, remember when he predicted Sony and Microsoft consoles to fall through when Nintendo had apparently "Won" the conole war that was apparently going on?
There are so many things wrong with this, it's the equivalent of me saying: "So what do you think Michael?" and then publishing it every where.

Edit: I forgot to mention how when he does get things right, he only parrotes the graphs that he reads.

Another Edit: I realize the purpose of this article was to tell you about him and then make you see things from his point of view, but there is a big difference between liking somebody because of their back/lifestory, and liking somebody because of what they do, and I can't believe that this guy works so hard at his job, only to get things so wrong. It seems like he interviews people for five hours, and then tells only what he took away from the experience as opposed to any notes.
Have you ever heard of George Wood and "Gaming in the Clinton Years?" this guy is the modern day equivalent.

Tom Phoenix:

DTWolfwood:

"Because I'm fearless, that means I'm not as cautious as I probably should be, and I say things that upset people. I'll say things like, 'The PSP Go is a rip-off,' and it hurts Sony's feelings. I didn't mean to hurt their feelings, but it was pretty expensive!"

I changed my mind about this guy! He is alright by me! XD

Before you start praising him, keep in mind that he conveniently does not mention the fact that he apologised for saying that:

Michael Pachter:
As long as you're giving me a forum, may I please beg your indulgence for a statement? I sincerely regret the choice of words in my response to Geoff Keighley's question in last week's Bonus Round, where I said that Sony is "ripping off" the consumer by pricing the PSP Go at $249.99. I made a poor choice of words, and I do NOT think that Sony is doing anything nefarious in choosing their pricing strategy. The company has the right to price its products at a point that they think is competitive, and has no obligation to sell products at lower than a competitive price. They have been subsidizing purchases of the PS3 since launch, to the tune of 22 million sold at a loss of $100 or more apiece (on average), so if they are able to make a profit on the PSP Go, more power to them. They are pricing at a point that positions the PSP Go competitively with the iPod Touch, and the PSP Go arguably has much more value than the Apple product. Notwithstanding my view that the price point is too high to generate more than a few million units sold, I really think my comment was unfair, and would appreciate your allowing me to clear the air on IndustryGamers.com.

Source: IndustryGamers

its not the point. he apologized for the same reason EA apologized for the taliban, the man has to eat. He isn't about to bite the hand that feeds him for something as trivial as choosing the wrong set of words to describe something without at least making amends.

Im speaking specifically what was said here and now on the article.

The man is as irrelevant to me as anyone who makes a living 'predicting' things. The same attitude i have towards psychics, i give to this man. But i don't hate the man simply because its his job to worry about his constituents rather than say niceties to fanboys and the press. Plus the man, as far as i know, have no affect on the industry so why the hostility? He isn't a Kotick.

What really dumbfounds me is that you think this article would have been best served on someone less known. Who wants to read about joe schmo who makes predictions? The fact its gotten you here on the thread to post about it has proved this article was well worth writing.

Keep up the good work Tracey John. don't listen to all them haters! cause haters gotta hate!

Susan Arendt:

Did you read it?

beddo:

What is your issue with him or this article? If you can't explain your reasoning then why bother to post a flippant comment?

Apologies. Yes I read the article but my comment wasn't a very constructive. I dislike hearing about Pachter because he tends to very manipulative in what he says (ie Wii HD) and gaming media tends to let him get away with it. The article itself wasn't bad but seemed it like its goal was to cast Pachter in an overly positive light rather then giving us the information and letting us come to our own conclusions.

"My method is, I say what I think, and I spend all of my time looking for reasons why I'm wrong"

Hey! That's how science works! +1 for you! :D

DTWolfwood:

Tom Phoenix:

DTWolfwood:

I changed my mind about this guy! He is alright by me! XD

Before you start praising him, keep in mind that he conveniently does not mention the fact that he apologised for saying that:

Michael Pachter:
As long as you're giving me a forum, may I please beg your indulgence for a statement? I sincerely regret the choice of words in my response to Geoff Keighley's question in last week's Bonus Round, where I said that Sony is "ripping off" the consumer by pricing the PSP Go at $249.99. I made a poor choice of words, and I do NOT think that Sony is doing anything nefarious in choosing their pricing strategy. The company has the right to price its products at a point that they think is competitive, and has no obligation to sell products at lower than a competitive price. They have been subsidizing purchases of the PS3 since launch, to the tune of 22 million sold at a loss of $100 or more apiece (on average), so if they are able to make a profit on the PSP Go, more power to them. They are pricing at a point that positions the PSP Go competitively with the iPod Touch, and the PSP Go arguably has much more value than the Apple product. Notwithstanding my view that the price point is too high to generate more than a few million units sold, I really think my comment was unfair, and would appreciate your allowing me to clear the air on IndustryGamers.com.

Source: IndustryGamers

its not the point. he apologized for the same reason EA apologized for the taliban, the man has to eat. He isn't about to bite the hand that feeds him for something as trivial as choosing the wrong set of words to describe something without at least making amends.

Yet, in this article, he still ends up bragging how he stuck it to Sony.

Besides, he is a business analyst. He is suppose to be a neutral party that assesses the state of the industry and tries to figure out how things will go in the future. As such, Sony isn't the hand that feeds him...or, at the very least, it shouldn't be. But considering how he has been trying to paint a rosy picture for Sony for years, I honestly wouldn't be suprised if they really do partially feed him.

Im speaking specifically what was said here and now on the article.

The man is as irrelevant to me as anyone who makes a living 'predicting' things. The same attitude i have towards psychics, i give to this man. But i don't hate the man simply because its his job to worry about his constituents rather than say niceties to fanboys and the press. Plus the man, as far as i know, have no affect on the industry so why the hostility? He isn't a Kotick.

Who is talking about hostility? I am criticising Pacther's professional conduct as an analyst. I am criticising the fact that he is pushing a specific agenda rather than trying to do his job. You say that "its his job to worry about his constituents rather than say niceties to fanboys and the press", which is fine...except that he is saying niceties to fanboys and the press. That's precisely the part of the problem.

Just like Kotick deserves criticism for being a poor CEO, so does Pachter deserve criticism for being a poor analyst.

What really dumbfounds me is that you think this article would have been best served on someone less known. Who wants to read about joe schmo who makes predictions?

Likewise, who wants to read about someone who is payed to make predictions, but, intentionally or unintentionally, gets them completely wrong most of the time? At least the "joe schmo" I am suggesting would be someone who has a proven track record.

Of course, it's impossible to be always correct when it comes to predictions due to their very nature. But there are individuals that have been almost clairvoyant about it and who are well worthy of being known about....Pachter is not one of them, especially since the press graces him with attention all the time as it is.

The fact its gotten you here on the thread to post about it has proved this article was well worth writing.

People post about articles of various kinds all the time and the Escapist is not an exception to this rule. That doesn't mean they were worth writing or that they serve much purpose.

But even if we take your stance that this article was worth writing, my entire point is that there are individuals far more worthier than Pachter of being written about. Had the Escapist chosen someone else, they would have introduced someone entirely new to their readership and they would have sparked an entirely new and interesting debate on that person and the subjects that they cover. Debate on Pachter is neither new nor interesting; it has practically occured in some shape or another every time there is a news piece about one of his predictions for a while now. This article doesn't end up contributing much to the debate. All it does is make people cover old ground.

Keep up the good work Tracey John. don't listen to all them haters! cause haters gotta hate!

image

Why do people hate this guy? I mean, really? What impact does he have on your daily life? None, I'm willing to bet. He's a guy who looks at the numbers, follows trends, and makes predictions about the business primarily for shareholders, not a bunch of nerds who sit around posting on video game forums. And he uses all of his press to generate more business. Shame on him with his fancy degrees and knowledge and success.

Obviously this article is not as heavy-hitting as the Costikyan two-parter rant that brought me to this site many years ago but at least a little insight into one of the most ubiquitous names in the outside, non-development/publishing part of the industry.

I think the thing is he appears to be making tonnes of money from spouting nonsense about the gaming industry. Which technically he is, but it's more like making outrageous ill-founded claims increases his notoriety which gets him more work rather than Microsoft are paying him millions to say "Nintendo are making the Virtual Boy 2!"

Tom Phoenix:

I must have been reading the wrong article cause at what point was he bragging that he stuck it Sony? Stating the obvious doesn't count as bragging to me. I don't listen to his 'analysis' enough to pass judgment on their validity but specifically in this article he was very right about the PSP Go. Also the few times i have watched his segment on GT, what he said made sense, in the financial stand point, like his case for a subscription based Call of Duty.

Being neutral in his business gets you zero notoriety. He is the perfect case study for that. Also, i guess the fact that most of the posts on this thread is openly hostile towards this man means what he was playing nice to gamers and fanboys. <.< The press, well they just love a provocateur.

If there is an analyst who has a high success rate in prediction please by all means tell me who this man is. I'll be buying stock with that man. Otherwise i wouldn't be assuming.

But you know what the guy above said it best.

DrRosenRosen:
Why do people hate this guy? I mean, really? What impact does he have on your daily life? None, I'm willing to bet. He's a guy who looks at the numbers, follows trends, and makes predictions about the business primarily for shareholders, not a bunch of nerds who sit around posting on video game forums. And he uses all of his press to generate more business. Shame on him with his fancy degrees and knowledge and success.

Thanks Doc.

Tom Phoenix:

Likewise, who wants to read about someone who is payed to make predictions, but, intentionally or unintentionally, gets them completely wrong most of the time? At least the "joe schmo" I am suggesting would be someone who has a proven track record.

Of course, it's impossible to be always correct when it comes to predictions due to their very nature. But there are individuals that have been almost clairvoyant about it and who are well worthy of being known about....Pachter is not one of them, especially since the press graces him with attention all the time as it is.

But even if we take your stance that this article was worth writing, my entire point is that there are individuals far more worthier than Pachter of being written about. Had the Escapist chosen someone else, they would have introduced someone entirely new to their readership and they would have sparked an entirely new and interesting debate on that person and the subjects that they cover.

Hi there! Who would you have suggested we cover instead for the "Psychics" issue? We went with Pachter because he's simply the most well-known and outspoken analyst, not because he's more or less accurate than others. Most people don't know exactly what he does or how he makes his predictions, and I wanted to try to shed some light on that.

Bloodeye:

The article itself wasn't bad but seemed it like its goal was to cast Pachter in an overly positive light rather then giving us the information and letting us come to our own conclusions.

My goal certainly wasn't to cast him in a positive or negative light, though a profile can be seem one-sided when you're only talking to that person. I'm sure it would've seemed more negative had I scrutinized every prediction he's made, but that wasn't the aim of the piece. Again, we just wanted to learn "the methods to his madness." And it doesn't seem like you guys have trouble coming to your own conclusions. ;) Thanks for reading!

DTWolfwood:

Keep up the good work Tracey John. don't listen to all them haters! cause haters gotta hate!

Haha, thank you. But I'm totally open to (civil) discussion!

Bloodeye:

Susan Arendt:

Did you read it?

beddo:

What is your issue with him or this article? If you can't explain your reasoning then why bother to post a flippant comment?

Apologies. Yes I read the article but my comment wasn't a very constructive. I dislike hearing about Pachter because he tends to very manipulative in what he says (ie Wii HD) and gaming media tends to let him get away with it. The article itself wasn't bad but seemed it like its goal was to cast Pachter in an overly positive light rather then giving us the information and letting us come to our own conclusions.

I think you're reading something into it that isn't there. No article containing a quote about how Pachter uses the media to make himself more money is trying to "cast him in an overly positive light."

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