280: The Crystal Ball of Michael Pachter

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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

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 he sure know a lot about games.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Hf4i7XtSs (some part are from other people of gametrailer)
Sure...
RTS is turned based...
RTS is single player...

"He said it was a "total fluke" that he covers videogames."

Can't argue with that.

I don't have anything against Michael Pachter as a person. I *do* have a problem with the tremendous amount of attention he gets, this article included.

I think a large part of his problem is that he looks too much at numbers, sales figures, corporate structure, and other things like that, but doesn't really understand the consumers. In a sense, he's like Michael Eisner, the man responsible for some of the worst travesties to disgrace Disney (think direct-to-video sequels). The thing is, this is a common trap to fall into, forgetting that underneath all the business jargon and sales charts, in ANY INDUSTRY, is a human element. You can look at trends all you want, but you've gotta understand how the consumers think, WHY they buy what they buy, WHY certain products are popular, in order to be a great analyst. Pachter has repeatedly shown he doesn't get this.

The movie Trading Places had a good example of this in action:
"Okay, pork belly prices have been dropping all morning, which means that everybody is waiting for it to hit rock bottom, so they can buy low. Which means that the people who own the pork belly contracts are saying, "Hey, we're losing all our damn money, and Christmas is around the corner, and I ain't gonna have no money to buy my son the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip! And my wife ain't gonna f... my wife ain't gonna make love to me if I got no money!" So they're panicking right now, they're screaming "SELL! SELL!" to get out before the price keeps dropping. They're panicking out there right now, I can feel it."

P.S. Thanks

Exort:

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

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 he sure know a lot about games.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Hf4i7XtSs (some part are from other people of gametrailer)
Sure...
RTS is turned based...
RTS is single player...

lol guess he isn't a gamer. He knows the business side of gaming. i would never assumed he was a gamer. Plus these are cases where i'd lol at his error and giggle like a school girl. Like seeing someone step on poop. XD

Thanks for the article, regardless of what the others say, I found it interesting and it gave me some new insights on Pachter (who knew he actually spends a fair amount actually playing games?).

I would like to add one comment, however: I think the article is nice, but I think it would have been even better if there would have been some comments from colleagues or competitors, or something like that. A view from some guys inside the companies Pachter writes about (maybe PR people from Nintendo, Activision or whoever else there may be) on how they see (and handle) him would have been interesting for me as well.

And finally, I think some comments from some of his clients and what they value about his opinions would have been the icing on the cake. I believe that would have given a much broader and even more interesting picture about Michael Pachter, maybe you guys can try a follow-up in the future with some of those ideas, that would be great :)

I still fail to understand why Pachter gets so much attention.

Sure, he's not a bad guy, but his predictions are no more or less accurate than those of most forum goers.

Generally, I would expect an 'Analyst' worthy of reporting to provide much more insight than I can get from Google myself.

Susan Arendt:

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

Did you read it?

Yes. And the article is pretty disgusting. I've read the whole thing since I was surprised at how much of a puff piece this is. The better question is: did YOU read it?

Waking up at 4:30, working 70 hours a week, reading game blogs? Is that supposed to make me feel like he's a hard worker? 4:30 is when I usually sleep and I have to wake at 8. 6 hours of sleep? You kidding? Damn, that guys has a pretty easy life.

Also, this quote is pretty egotistical and ignorant

You might be able to name one, but there are 35 of them and people can't name five of them," he said. "Why is that?

It's because he's almost always wrong. Unlike him, I don't equate speaking the loudest and speaking most often to being right. I guess he doesn't do his homework enough, because if he actually does read all the game blogs and forums and whatnot, he'd realize by now how much of a joke he is and his reputation around the internet is being a clown. Even Gametrailers, who still likes to pamper him, are joking about how wrong his is with the ongoing joke of "So, is the Wii HD coming this year?"

ThisNewGuy:

Susan Arendt:

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

Did you read it?

Yes. And the article is pretty disgusting. I've read the whole thing since I was surprised at how much of a puff piece this is. The better question is: did YOU read it?

Given that I commission the articles for the magazine and edit them, yes, of course I did. My point, which the person I was speaking to clearly understood, was that his comment in no way indicated whether or not he was forming an opinion based on the actual content or simply his dislike of the subject matter. So I asked, and he answered. Not quite sure why you're choosing to be so hostile with me over it.

Susan Arendt:

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."

It's not so much what is said in the article, it's more the general tone of an article, when you tell people a persons lifestyle/work in that fashion, showing how hard they work and their responses towards those who don't like him, we start to feel like they're trying to get us to sympathise with him, and there is a difference between sympathising and understanding, maybe if the article explained what he got out of the interview or if he said "the general tone is ______ and that's why I thought _______" we would have a further insight into the guy and there would be less hostility.

Warachia:

Susan Arendt:

Bloodeye:

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."

It's not so much what is said in the article, it's more the general tone of an article, when you tell people a persons lifestyle/work in that fashion, showing how hard they work and their responses towards those who don't like him, we start to feel like they're trying to get us to sympathise with him, and there is a difference between sympathising and understanding, maybe if the article explained what he got out of the interview or if he said "the general tone is ______ and that's why I thought _______" we would have a further insight into the guy and there would be less hostility.

It's not so much a positive article as it is a non-negative one. You (and I don't necessarily mean you, specifically) see us saying "here's what his work week is like" and interpret that as us saying "doesn't he just work SO hard?", but that's not really what's happening.

The aim of the article is simply to let you know how he explains what he does for a living...and what he actually does for a living. How you interpret that information is up to you. These are his words, make of them what you will. If, after reading what he says about himself, you think he's a douchebag, fair enough. If you think he's misunderstood, also completely fair. The information is there, it's up to the reader to decide how he or she feels about it.

Saying a man works a certain amount of hours isn't a value judgment, it's just information.

Susan Arendt:

ThisNewGuy:

Susan Arendt:

Did you read it?

Yes. And the article is pretty disgusting. I've read the whole thing since I was surprised at how much of a puff piece this is. The better question is: did YOU read it?

Given that I commission the articles for the magazine and edit them, yes, of course I did. My point, which the person I was speaking to clearly understood, was that his comment in no way indicated whether or not he was forming an opinion based on the actual content or simply his dislike of the subject matter. So I asked, and he answered. Not quite sure why you're choosing to be so hostile with me over it.

*facepalm* That's the point. I'm "hostile" over it because you read this piece and still commissioned it. I'm not concerned about whether Bloodeye was critical of the subject or the piece. I'm concerned that a senior editor of a site that I give a lot of respect to would commission this article. I mean, just read this part:

A typical day for Pachter begins at 4:30 in the morning. He stays for 12 hours (except for today, because of our interview and a long week of earnings calls), and eats lunch at his desk. He tracks the industry, looks at data and reads news websites and blogs. He makes an average of 15-18 phone calls a day - ranging from 10 minutes to an hour - to speak with investors as well as public and private companies.
"I talked to Activision today, and I talked to Microsoft a couple of days ago," Pachter said. "My work essentially consists of understanding what companies do and then writing about it. And then typically after I've written about it, I'll speak with shareholders and help them to understand it."

Once he gets home, the work doesn't stop. After dinner with the family, Pachter usually checks his e-mail and the internet for news every night before bed to make sure he doesn't miss anything (he gets about six hours of sleep a night). He also writes notes to investors during the weekend for a few hours, bringing his average work week to 70 hours. When he's not evaluating the industry, Pachter also somehow makes time to actually play some games. He typically plays 4-10 hours a week, and enjoys all genres - from casual titles like Cut the Rope on the iPad to every Call of Duty game and in-depth RPGs like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout and Diablo.

But that doesn't include the times when he travels. To visit clients, Pachter's away from home about 60 nights a year, mostly for domestic trips, though he does head to Europe on occasion. In fact, later this month he's got a business trip that takes him to six cities (London, Paris, Geneva, Helsinki, Oslo, and then back to London) in seven days in order to meet with 3-4 clients a day.

"So that's a real fun week," Pachter said, chuckling. "But I don't want any sympathy. I'm paid pretty well."

It sounds like a memoir with a very egotistic and elitist tone. It's like if a teenager published his diary on the internet with an added "look how awesome I am" stamped at the end.

Now, obviously, you're gonna defend this article in every way possible, and I respect that. You are the editor. You obviously know way more about what a good article should be like. I'm just saying, from my perspective as a reader, this article sounds very self-serving.

Susan Arendt:

Warachia:

It's not so much what is said in the article, it's more the general tone of an article, when you tell people a persons lifestyle/work in that fashion, showing how hard they work and their responses towards those who don't like him, we start to feel like they're trying to get us to sympathise with him, and there is a difference between sympathising and understanding, maybe if the article explained what he got out of the interview or if he said "the general tone is ______ and that's why I thought _______" we would have a further insight into the guy and there would be less hostility.

It's not so much a positive article as it is a non-negative one. You (and I don't necessarily mean you, specifically) see us saying "here's what his work week is like" and interpret that as us saying "doesn't he just work SO hard?", but that's not really what's happening.

The aim of the article is simply to let you know how he explains what he does for a living...and what he actually does for a living. How you interpret that information is up to you. These are his words, make of them what you will. If, after reading what he says about himself, you think he's a douchebag, fair enough. If you think he's misunderstood, also completely fair. The information is there, it's up to the reader to decide how he or she feels about it.

Saying a man works a certain amount of hours isn't a value judgment, it's just information.

Saying something is just information knowing what you are showing to be a hard working week and expecting us not to see you trying to make us sympathize is just like when movie bob talked about a marine's eyes turning blue, told us to look up "master race" and then tried to write it off with the "it's just information, make of it what you will." excuse.

I find it hard to believe the journalist wrote this article (a good enough article on its own merits) and didn't think it would create some sympathy for the guy. An article does not have to say sympathetic things, nor does it need to try to explain away actions to create sympathy, it only needs to tell part of a story/event. You can ask questions like "so why did you think this Michael?" Or "Do you know why this turned out differently than predicted?" while being a non-negative article. it should also be noted that you simply CAN'T write any news story without evoking something from a person, interest, apathy, sympathy, anger, pride, etc. other articles before have been opinions or someone discussing or reporting on a topic, knew full well they would cause a person to feel something, and either tried to cover expressly for that feeling, or tried to cover it from all sides.

Trying to write it off with "It's just information" I personally find very sad, even though I knew you would do it anyway. A story that literally is nothing but information that doesn't try to invoke anything from a person is a truly worthless story.

ThisNewGuy:

Susan Arendt:

ThisNewGuy:

Yes. And the article is pretty disgusting. I've read the whole thing since I was surprised at how much of a puff piece this is. The better question is: did YOU read it?

Given that I commission the articles for the magazine and edit them, yes, of course I did. My point, which the person I was speaking to clearly understood, was that his comment in no way indicated whether or not he was forming an opinion based on the actual content or simply his dislike of the subject matter. So I asked, and he answered. Not quite sure why you're choosing to be so hostile with me over it.

*facepalm* That's the point. I'm "hostile" over it because you read this piece and still commissioned it. I'm not concerned about whether Bloodeye was critical of the subject or the piece. I'm concerned that a senior editor of a site that I give a lot of respect to would commission this article. I mean, just read this part:

A typical day for Pachter begins at 4:30 in the morning. He stays for 12 hours (except for today, because of our interview and a long week of earnings calls), and eats lunch at his desk. He tracks the industry, looks at data and reads news websites and blogs. He makes an average of 15-18 phone calls a day - ranging from 10 minutes to an hour - to speak with investors as well as public and private companies.
"I talked to Activision today, and I talked to Microsoft a couple of days ago," Pachter said. "My work essentially consists of understanding what companies do and then writing about it. And then typically after I've written about it, I'll speak with shareholders and help them to understand it."

Once he gets home, the work doesn't stop. After dinner with the family, Pachter usually checks his e-mail and the internet for news every night before bed to make sure he doesn't miss anything (he gets about six hours of sleep a night). He also writes notes to investors during the weekend for a few hours, bringing his average work week to 70 hours. When he's not evaluating the industry, Pachter also somehow makes time to actually play some games. He typically plays 4-10 hours a week, and enjoys all genres - from casual titles like Cut the Rope on the iPad to every Call of Duty game and in-depth RPGs like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout and Diablo.

But that doesn't include the times when he travels. To visit clients, Pachter's away from home about 60 nights a year, mostly for domestic trips, though he does head to Europe on occasion. In fact, later this month he's got a business trip that takes him to six cities (London, Paris, Geneva, Helsinki, Oslo, and then back to London) in seven days in order to meet with 3-4 clients a day.

"So that's a real fun week," Pachter said, chuckling. "But I don't want any sympathy. I'm paid pretty well."

It sounds like a memoir with a very egotistic and elitist tone. It's like if a teenager published his diary on the internet with an added "look how awesome I am" stamped at the end.

Now, obviously, you're gonna defend this article in every way possible, and I respect that. You are the editor. You obviously know way more about what a good article should be like. I'm just saying, from my perspective as a reader, this article sounds very self-serving.

The portion you just cited has no tone at all. It's merely a recitation of facts. He eats lunch at his desk, he checks his email after dinner. We're simply providing information. The tone you're taking can only be from Pachter's own words - which is exactly the point. You've heard Pachter talk about games and earnings and what he thinks will happen, and you've formed an opinion of him based on that. The point of this article was for you to learn about everything else he does - his day job, how he makes his predictions, etc - as he would describe it. We're not saying he's great, we're not saying he's a jerk, we're merely letting him talk so that you can decide for yourself what to think.

I <3 Pachter!

Sounds like a hard working fella. Doesn't sound like he gets much family time...wonder how they feel. Lord knows my gf throws a fit if I play any games when she is free from work.

This felt like a bit of a puff piece (almost reads like it was concocted by a Pachter PR team or something), but that doesn't bother me. It was nice to hear how he operates at least. I love hearing what he has to say most of the time. It's refreshing to get a perspective on gaming from a person dealing with the financial/business side, since in the end, that is what drives the industry and what lets us play games we like -- the money they make for people.

Bruce Edwards:
I still fail to understand why Pachter gets so much attention.

Sure, he's not a bad guy, but his predictions are no more or less accurate than those of most forum goers.

Generally, I would expect an 'Analyst' worthy of reporting to provide much more insight than I can get from Google myself.

Well... that's all an analyst is really. Someone who analyzes the data that's out there, and compiles it for/explains it to clients in an easily-discernible manner. Lots of people don't have time or the inclination to scour every bit of news and form a cohesive picture out of it. So they have analysts paid to do that for them. You might like to do that, but a big shot investor who has to manage a business and finances that lots of people depend on might not have time for it.

Susan Arendt:

The portion you just cited has no tone at all. It's merely a recitation of facts. He eats lunch at his desk, he checks his email after dinner. We're simply providing information. The tone you're taking can only be from Pachter's own words - which is exactly the point. You've heard Pachter talk about games and earnings and what he thinks will happen, and you've formed an opinion of him based on that. The point of this article was for you to learn about everything else he does - his day job, how he makes his predictions, etc - as he would describe it. We're not saying he's great, we're not saying he's a jerk, we're merely letting him talk so that you can decide for yourself what to think.

The quote was getting long lol, so I just cut it. But anyways, I find it kind of sad that even I am not naive enough to not see the tone in that passage. If you really were just reciting facts, you would indiscriminately describe every single one of his actions. For example, "4:30 am puts on glasses, wakes up. 4:35 am brushes teeth. 4:45 looks for car keys. 5:30am arrives at work. 5:40 am reads emails and check blogs. 5:45am goes to bathroom. 5:47am writes replies to email. 6:30am meeting...etc...etc"

The fact that you chose those specific events was obvious to make a statement. Even Pachter recognizes the tone in the end with his statement that he's not looking for sympathy, because that's exactly what the passage does. It's not a recitation of facts. This is definitely not a scientific paper about behavioral diagnosis results (which would be facts) by following clinical observations given set periods of observation. These are specific events chosen to create a tone. As a reader, that was clearly obvious.

I clearly do not know anything about writing, but please don't insult my intelligence. A recitation of facts when used in certain contexts can be the method to establish tone. If you are having trouble detailing the tone in the passage, I could highlight each sentence and describe exactly the tone that the author is purposely trying to convey. I'm sure everyone who's read the article could do at least that much.

Bruce Edwards:
I still fail to understand why Pachter gets so much attention.

Sure, he's not a bad guy, but his predictions are no more or less accurate than those of most forum goers.

Really? The average forum goer is on the money when it comes to earnings predictions for billion dollar companies? Because I'm on here a fair bit, and I don't see many posts about how much EA's stock price is gonna go up or down in the next quarter.

Not to mention that most of our comments here come when a product is out already or almost so, at which point a quarterly earnings prediction has been on the table for quite some time.

Generally, I would expect an 'Analyst' worthy of reporting to provide much more insight than I can get from Google myself.

Well, then you don't understand how analysts work.

Again: his clients aren't teen-aged CoD fanboys. They're people with homes and stock portfolios who spend their time making money, not yammering on gaming forums. They read the Wall Street Journal, not Kotaku. Plus, the man bloody said that his job is basically to add up to zero; he's gonna be wrong 50% of the time.

There was this famous experiment when they let monkeys and people throwing darts pick out market trends, and they did about as well as highly paid analysts. The problem with the latter is that they take what they know and translate that into predictions - but while you're gonna be confident about your assessment when you believe that you see 90% of the picture, it's that remaining 10% which can fuck it up. That's why those people work those ridiculous hours. You can only go by what you know, and the more you know, the greater the likelihood that you're right. It doensn't take multiple degrees to see a huge black cloud and predict rain; these people, however, have to make judgement calls rather earlier than that. If you're right 51% of the time, your clients have made more money than they have lost, and you're golden.

It's like sports betting, at its core. Let's say that before a basketball game, you know that one team's starting centre is injured, and that they don't do well on their opponent's home court. But then, the other team's star player has been in a scoring slump lately. So you take what you know, and bet money on it. Are you right all the time? Hell no. Because then, all people who follow sports regularly would be millionaires. And that's with up to date injury and scouting reports and dozens of previews; now imagine having to predict the results of tonight's Spurs-Jazz game in fucking September. The job of people like Pachter is to tell people who know little about basketball and have no time to read up on everything their best guess. That's all it is. Best guess, based on available information. Saying that CoD: Black Ops will sell well is like saying that the Lakers are gonna beat Minnesota tonight - well, duh. But most judgement calls are much tougher.

People who invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into BMW stock aren't all car fanboys, either. They care about money, not power to weight ratio. So they need people who understand the tech side, the marketing side, and the business side to make sense of what a new, ultra low mpg turbodiesel engine for the 3-series means for their bank accounts - but the point is that those analysts get people to invest that money, which in turn gives BMW the possibility to make better products.

It's a supremely silly attitude of gamers to think that analysts and stockholders should be fanboys. How many of you own stock in any gaming or tech company? Thought so.

ThisNewGuy:
If you are having trouble detailing the tone in the passage, I could highlight each sentence and describe exactly the tone that the author is purposely trying to convey.

I bet you I could do the exact same thing and come up with something completely different. Personally, I think your clear dislike of Michael Pachter is making you see things that aren't there.

Logan Westbrook:

ThisNewGuy:
If you are having trouble detailing the tone in the passage, I could highlight each sentence and describe exactly the tone that the author is purposely trying to convey.

I bet you I could do the exact same thing and come up with something completely different. Personally, I think your clear dislike of Michael Pachter is making you see things that aren't there.

You may be right. My perspective is definitely skewed towards disliking Pachter, but if 1 reader says it's a puff piece, he's just a troll, if 2 reader says it's a puff piece, they're just skewed in perspectives, but if pretty much every reader says it's a puff piece, even people who like Pachter, maybe it's a puff piece.

DTWolfwood:

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.

Although Pachter cited his boldness as a strength, it's also gotten him in hot water too, especially when it comes to certain videogame publishers. "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!"

He brags how "fearless" he is for telling Sony that the PSP Go is a rip-off. Somehow, it doesn't count when you end up apologising for it.

You know what's funny? Not only did he end up apologising for it, he even scolded European retailers for refusing to stock it:

Analyst Michael Pachter, on the other hand, thinks they're all being "foolish", and calls the entire situation "ridiculous".

"It's just silly for a retailer to say that they won't sell a big ticket gaming device because they can't sell the games. Consumer electronics stores sell refrigerators and not food, everyone sells iPods and not the music for them; this position is just ridiculous," Michael Pachter, analyst for investor Wedbush Morgan Securities, told Eurogamer.

"I think that it's foolish for a retailer to be selective about what they carry, unless they truly don't believe it will sell well."

Source: Eurogamer

While the fact that the Go was DD-only most certainly was a significant reason they refused to stock it, wouldn't you think another one was the fact that the PSP Go was a "rip-off"? It's not exactly a leap of logic to think that some retailers truly didn't believe it will sell well. And yet, here is Pachter, defending this "big ticket gaming device" that he so fearlessly scolded himself not long before.

And while we are on the subject, why did Pachter defend the Go? It's the job of SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) to convince European retailers to stock it, not that of a business analyst who isn't supposed to have any direct connections with such events.

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.

Oh, I agree that he was right about the PSP Go. But then again, so was many people who payed attention to the PSP Go. If stating the obvious is all it takes to be a business analyst, then you or I could go apply right now.

Sadly, even though this was one of his most intelligent statements, Pachter decided to go back on it. Oh well...

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.

What about his prediction that the PS3 would win this console generation, even though the cost, lack of software and overshooting of the mass market were enormous detriments for the console? What about his constant claims that there is a Wii HD coming, even though this notion was rejected time and again? What about his predictions of a second Wii price-cut, even though the first one did absolutely nothing to help Wii momentum? What about his claim that the only reason Wii did well over the last holidays was beacuse of the Wal-Mart $50 gift card promotion, even though it was sold out everywhere?

Is Pachter always wrong? Of course not. But to say that his track record has been spotty would be an understatement. Also, a "subsription-based Call of Duty" isn't that much of a stretch of imagination, especially since Kotick had already publically entertained the idea prior to that. Plus, one could poke holes in his statement that releases for that quarter did not do well beacuse of free multiplayer, but that would just lead us off-topic.

Being neutral in his business gets you zero notoriety. He is the perfect case study for that.

Yes, being neutral gets you zero notoriety...but not being neutral causes you to have zero credibility. A referee who acts biased in a sporting match will certainly gain notoriety, but people will just as certainly question whether or not he can do his job properly.

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. <.<

If a PS3 fanboy proclaimed the 360 to be the equivalent of horse dung, it is only natural that he would gain hostility from fans of the 360. That doesn't mean he would not receive praise from other PS3 fans or criticism from people who see merits in all consoles or at least try to see both sides of the topic.

Likewise, just beacuse some people express hostility towards Pachter does not mean that everyone hates them, especially when you consider the following he has on GameTrailers and the NeoGAF forums. It also doesn't mean he won't receive criticism from people who don't hate him, but question his conduct as an analyst or are just simply tired of hearing about him all the time.

The press, well they just love a provocateur.

No doubt. The thing is, Pachter doesn't even make for a good provocateur. He is not like Jack Thompson who's every breath was pure, unadulterated bile towards gamers and who was funny to read just to see how much more ignorant he could be about the subject matters that he covered.

Nowadays, Pachter is practically quoted on every statement he makes. Next thing you know, he will be quoted on what he has had for breakfast. He has been referenced so many times and he has been wrong so many times (who knows? maybe he will even be wrong about what he ate for breakfast :P) that people have become weary of hearing about him. He has become a joke that has been going on for too long.

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.

You are assuming that I am assuming. But I do infact know of someone who has a high success rate in predictions. He isn't an analyst, but he arguably does gaming business analysis better than actual business analysts (including Pachter....especially Pachter) and with whom your money would actually be safe. Scroll down to my reply to Tracey John to see who I am talking about.

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.

Well, to be honest, he didn't say it too well. I mean, if Pachter is making predictions for shareholders, why is he not telling those predictions to shareholders...on, you know, shareholder meetings? Why is he revealing them publically (afterall, good analysis is actually worth money and not being revealed blindly)? Why is he posting on video game forums alongside "a bunch of nerds"? Why does he run an online show (called "Pach-Attack"), where he even replies to posts and e-mails those nerds?

Also, what knowledge? Does Pachter actually have knowledge on video games? You could have fooled me. :P

Joke aside, I do agree with his main point that there is no sense in hating Pachter. But having a personal vendetta isn't (and shouldn't be) a requirement for criticising how one performs his tasks. If Kotick performs poorly as a CEO, chances are that he hasn't burned down houses or murdered entire families as a result; yet, people are well within their right to criticise his conduct. If you read a bad book, it's quite likely that the author hasn't desecrated the body of your loved one by writing it; yet, you would be well within your right to criticise his book and him as an author.

Likewise, Pachter's predictions and statements may not have any bearing on the personal lives of people. But considering how much he gets quoted, people are well within their right to criticise his statements and his attitude.

Tracey John:

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?

Well, there is at least one person who would have been a much better choice...Sean Malstrom.

While he has gotten quite a few things right, his most famous prediction was that the Wii would come out ahead this console generation. While this may seem obvious today, he made the prediction back when everyone and their dog (including authors on the Escapist) was convinced that Nintendo was doomed and would go entirely third-party (and people still get the reasons for their success wrong, including developers and analysts).

Also, he is arguably an even more controversial personality than Pachter. He criticises the industry for trying to turn games into movies, dismisses the term "casual" (claiming it to be game industry lingo for "retard") and mocks "hardcore" gamers for...well, various reasons. He has also been a vocal critic of Pachter and other industry analysts and has even had the "honor" of being e-mailed by him. Overall, his opinions are quite unorthodox in terms of what the gaming community is used to. Nevertheless, his words still carry weight due to his proven track record.

Has he always made perfect predictions? Of course not. For example, he was wrong about the Wii not getting a price cut during mid-2009. Nevertheless, he has exercised incredible foresight in terms of where gaming is headed and is also an interesting personality. Introducing him to the readership would have sparked an interesting debate, especially since he challenges some of the commonly held beliefs in the gaming community. Overall, he would have made for far better material for an editorial in this week's issue than Pachter.

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.

The thing is, "how he makes his predictions" doesn't make for very good material when his predictions are often completely off. If his predictions were often true, then learning how he makes those predictions would have some value. As it is, it doesn't.

Considering that the title of this week's issue is "Psychics" (a term usually reserved for people who can accurately see the future more often than others), I think it represented an excellent chance to learn about someone who has been often correct in predicting where gaming is headed and thus practically qualifies as a quasi-"Psychic" (which Pachter certainly does not). As it is, it just ends up feeling like a wasted opportunity.

Archangel357:

Bruce Edwards:
I still fail to understand why Pachter gets so much attention.

Sure, he's not a bad guy, but his predictions are no more or less accurate than those of most forum goers.

Really? The average forum goer is on the money when it comes to earnings predictions for billion dollar companies? Because I'm on here a fair bit, and I don't see many posts about how much EA's stock price is gonna go up or down in the next quarter.

Not to mention that most of our comments here come when a product is out already or almost so, at which point a quarterly earnings prediction has been on the table for quite some time.

Generally, I would expect an 'Analyst' worthy of reporting to provide much more insight than I can get from Google myself.

Well, then you don't understand how analysts work.

Again: his clients aren't teen-aged CoD fanboys. They're people with homes and stock portfolios who spend their time making money, not yammering on gaming forums. They read the Wall Street Journal, not Kotaku. Plus, the man bloody said that his job is basically to add up to zero; he's gonna be wrong 50% of the time.

There was this famous experiment when they let monkeys and people throwing darts pick out market trends, and they did about as well as highly paid analysts. The problem with the latter is that they take what they know and translate that into predictions - but while you're gonna be confident about your assessment when you believe that you see 90% of the picture, it's that remaining 10% which can fuck it up. That's why those people work those ridiculous hours. You can only go by what you know, and the more you know, the greater the likelihood that you're right. It doensn't take multiple degrees to see a huge black cloud and predict rain; these people, however, have to make judgement calls rather earlier than that. If you're right 51% of the time, your clients have made more money than they have lost, and you're golden.

It's like sports betting, at its core. Let's say that before a basketball game, you know that one team's starting centre is injured, and that they don't do well on their opponent's home court. But then, the other team's star player has been in a scoring slump lately. So you take what you know, and bet money on it. Are you right all the time? Hell no. Because then, all people who follow sports regularly would be millionaires. And that's with up to date injury and scouting reports and dozens of previews; now imagine having to predict the results of tonight's Spurs-Jazz game in fucking September. The job of people like Pachter is to tell people who know little about basketball and have no time to read up on everything their best guess. That's all it is. Best guess, based on available information. Saying that CoD: Black Ops will sell well is like saying that the Lakers are gonna beat Minnesota tonight - well, duh. But most judgement calls are much tougher.

People who invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into BMW stock aren't all car fanboys, either. They care about money, not power to weight ratio. So they need people who understand the tech side, the marketing side, and the business side to make sense of what a new, ultra low mpg turbodiesel engine for the 3-series means for their bank accounts - but the point is that those analysts get people to invest that money, which in turn gives BMW the possibility to make better products.

It's a supremely silly attitude of gamers to think that analysts and stockholders should be fanboys. How many of you own stock in any gaming or tech company? Thought so.

Ouch. Are you ... is that you Michael?

Anyway, I never meant to imply that fanboys are analysts. Certainly not stock analysts. However, a listed companies earnings and guidence information is freely published. Generally what Pachter does seems to boil down to judging whether or not, say Project $10 will affect the bottom line positively or not.

The point I was trying to make is that given his hit and miss rate - at least, from articles that are published here and in other sources - is hardly spectacular, thus I am at a loss as to why he continues to get press.

People here are mad at Patcher for getting attention? Can anyone here name another well known gaming analyst?

"But I don't want any sympathy."

Yeah, I don't think there's much risk of that happening.

A very good Article, bin following Pacther for a long time, ever since the first time I saw him on Gametrailers. He was such a fresh face there, had so many different views on the game industry, that I never understood or ever tought about. That time every one loved him, and wanted to hear more of him. So of course, he started to get his own show on gametrailers, and people really enjoyed that in the beginning.

But things really have change, now there is this strange hate against his predictions even all this attention he is getting. It's wierd how things can change, when Pachters ways have not changed, he have kept doing the predictions ever since he first came to be known.

But I like the guy, I like how he looks at the game industry and hearing his points. But of course, I rarely agree with him, but I want to hear what he has to say, I want to hear what he thinks, be course it is sometimes just funny how simple it can be, but also open up my eyes what there is behind the gaming industry.

Keep it up Pacther, and keep it up Escapistmagazine, I enjoyed this artical... And reading the comments XD

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