Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

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Deathfish15:
Someone find a way to get this guy fired from his job and put away from anything even resembling a video-game (even slot poker). He's been, for the past 2 years, trying to convince gaming companies to charge for it's online multiplayer.

I understand that "it's his job" as a market analyst who's supposed to wring every penny out of the sheep...er, customers. However, the question remains if his job is really needed and is not doing anything but a disservice? He makes predictions of companies failing, companies succeeding, and gives 'financial advise' to companies on ways to decrease their product and increase their profit.

Video games are about multiple things: innovation, creativity, artistic expression, and above-all-else they're about FUN. Pachter says they're about $$...he's a fool and he's wrong.

Is he even getting paid by a publisher to spew his crap? I've never seen anything from him further than what appears to be his version of common sense, which isn't something people usually pay for. I'm beginning to think it's not so much his "job" as much as it is some kind of sick passion of his. Either that, or he's somehow managed to carve a niche out of being a video-game related douchebag.

He says that but I have a gut feeling that Modern Warfare 4's pre-orders alone will make a tidy profit for Activision....

Carrots_macduff:
doesn't call of duty already have that elite bs subscription service? and hasn't pachter ever heard of dlc? and doesn't he realize the multiplayer isn't free because you have to buy the $60 game to play it? holy arrogance batman

Yeah, but you COULD make COD cost $75 to buy it at retail, have mandatory $20 map packs, and require an online subscription service for $15 a month? More bigger numbers means better right? RIGHT!?

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the MONEY?!

JediMB:

Indeed. This article just made me want to bite has damn head off.

Because I'm a Leviathan now, or something.

This statement made me incredibly happy.

A casual gamer isn't defined by the amount of games they play, or what they play, it's defined by why they actually play games and how often they even play them. (Examples are some Wii games which allow parents to play with their children, or mobile games which allow people to play games when they're travelling/can't access a computer or console).

Disagree. I played WoW casually for 3 years, but I racked up 120 days on a single character. Playing casually means you play exclusively for fun and relaxation, not competitiveness or compulsively (I'm looking at you, Farmville...).

Carrots_macduff:
doesn't call of duty already have that elite bs subscription service? and hasn't pachter ever heard of dlc? and doesn't he realize the multiplayer isn't free because you have to buy the $60 game to play it? holy arrogance batman

Elite and all of its stat tracking features are now free, BLOPS 2 has a season pass that buys you all the dlc at a discount.
OT: The one thing we can all agree that cod does right in multiplayer is the lack of any obstructions aside from actually having a copy of the game. No subscription, no online pass, just put the disk in and play.

Andy Chalk:
Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

"I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop. That's just like the people who play World of Warcraft and never stop, yet the World of Warcraft guys are paying $180 a year, and the Call of Duty guys are paying $60. So who's got a better model?" he continued. "This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake. I don't think anybody ever envisioned it would be this big. It's a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games."

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting but from what I read I think what he meant was that Call of Duty was so big that people don't have the interest and time to buy/play different games. Therefore it's hurting the rest of the business, hence why it's a failure.

When I was playing WoW non-stop I certainly didn't play anything else.

Captcha: greased lightining

They could pay me to play Call of Duty and I still wouldn't take them up on their offer. It is nice to know how greedy they are though, as if there was any question.
It is too bad that no matter how badly they screw over their customers, they keep coming back for more.

If ActiBlizz start doing that, they'll definitely lose a bunch of people. Or they'll get even more filthy rich.

Did anyone else get a "High Expectations Asian Father" vibe?

Warcraft get A+ !! You only get A-

Son you are failure! Go back to room and study!

So he's comparing an MMORPG that updates all the time with new quests and areas to a FPS that may add a few maps in it's life time? what a bad comparison especially for an "expert". also if Activision even attempts to charge for multiplayer with bungie's new game, bungie's reputation will be the price for such greed.

fix-the-spade:

Nope, they cooked up a billion in sales.

As much as they are talking up Call Of Duty's sales, Activision-Blizzard made $185million profit last year.

Pretty nice you might think, but the fall out from their little Infinity Ward fiasco may be costing them as much as $1billion in legal fees and payouts to EA, West, Zampella and many, many other former Infinity Ward employees.

Of course how they hide that in their end of year statement should be entertaining. $100 million in outside investments to public relations, $200 million in coffee?

I am not sure if I follow you, but did they have less than a dollar profit per each unit sold? Did they already put the payment for the legal fees and payouts in their accounting books, or did they have some other expenses that I am unaware of? Because earning less than a dollar per unit seems a bit unrealistic.

Edit: nevermind, forget what I just wrote, clearly I am too tired to do even some basic reasoning...

I do not like Pachter. Anybody saying something is a failure for not attempting to fuck over it's customers too much is a bit of a dick.

Andy Chalk:
-Snip-

Mark me curious. His analysis has less than 50% chance of being right (counting the predictions he has made and have been published here) and is totally disregarding the trends in both Coop and PvP multiplayer games, especially in the PC market where WoW is situated.

Why is the opinion of a guy that has less chance of being right than tossing a penny newsworthy?

mdqp:
-Snip-

AFAIK Activision/Blizz should be making around 16-19 bucks for each CoD copy sold at a retailer. That is revenue, not net profit mind you.

Meh... I can kinda see where he's going with it.

The problem with activision trying a subscription model is that in order to justify the subscription, you have to kind of bunker down and commit yourselves to staying on ONE version of the game, and to tweaking it here/there with patches or updates, just like MMO's do.

You won't be able to release CoD annually and then expect people to pay 15$ a month just to keep playing that iteration until the next game comes out. The 2 pay plans contradict each other, and would piss off a large portion of their fanbase that I'm sure other FPS developers would love to have.

I can see the advertisements now... "Tired of paying monthly for CoD? Don't have to pay for Battlefield 4. Or Ghost Recon. Or Operation: Flashpoint. Or Socom. Or Medal of Honor(assuming Danger Close can make a decent one for once.)" etc. etc.
In other words, the military shooter genre is too stagnant for them to safely pull a dick move like that. That's the one good thing about stagnation: You have options.

I do agree with his statement on the Wii U. It's making all the same mistakes the Wii did, and while I can appreciate attempts at innovation, unless there's another Xenoblade Chronicles coming out for it, no incentive to buy it.

Please dont let Take-Two be bought, those guys havent abused costumers like many other publishers

There's no way CoD would be the behemoth it is now if it charged for subscriptions. Its a complete fallacy to assume that success under current conditions would happen if you made them harsher.

Yeah, it's statements like that that make me HATE the industry of today.

EDIT: Not that I particularly care about CoD, mind you. Don't think that's done much for the industry either.

EDIT2: Also I will never EVER pay a subscription fee to play a game. I would sooner see this industry die than pay a fucking subscription fee.

Free online play, are you serious? Most CoD players, (and every single CoD player I have ever met and/or seen in person) plays it on Xbox (the more dudebro system, controller designed more for shooters, etc.), whose online service is not free.

I also think he's seriously talking out of his ass about the $60 to $180 difference. The one of the biggest selling points for Call of Duty has been its free online. To justify a cost increase of 3 times the price, the player base would have to drop by less than 66%, but I guarantee that more people than 2/3 of CoD's market would drop if they had to pay that much. CoD's market would be eaten up seriously by other games with free online. Things like Halo on Xbox, MAG on PS3, and any number of Free-to-Play games on PC (Blacklight, Tribes, TF2, etc.) While they may be able to get more money per person, would enough people stay to play it to justify the change?

Also, a touch off-topic. Why is "online" being marked as misspelled as I type?

And this is why he is not in charge of anything. The shortsightedness of a money powered robot at its finest. He looks at a situation and thinks he sees an easy payout, but he can't consider the repercussions. So sad.

I'd never pay $180 for a CoD game, but I bet millions of people would.

Stop giving them ideas Pachter you evil man.

Since when is publishing opinions newsworthy? This is a weird trend I've seen on the Escapist, and it doesn't make any sense. Just because people say things doesn't automatically mean they need to have articles written about them.

Andy Chalk:
"Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold."

Well, he got that much right a least.

Frylock72:
Since when is publishing opinions newsworthy? This is a weird trend I've seen on the Escapist, and it doesn't make any sense. Just because people say things doesn't automatically mean they need to have articles written about them.

Publishing opinions of notable people not only makes sense, but you'll find most publications do it.

this guy makes we want to defend CoD, GIVE HIM A MEDAL!

Wait, wait, wait, I know that 90% of what this guy says is bull ,but looking at the image... does he play Artie on warehouse 13? or is my tablet's tiny screen making me see things?

DugMachine:
I find it hilarious how 1 billion dollars just doesn't seem like enough anymore. I mean sure you could make COD a subscription based game and tons would pay the price but damn who needs more than a billion dollars anyways? Who needs a million for that matter (well I do cause I want a jetski and a yacht but that's besides the point.)

Well, ya have to keep in mind it's not just one person making the money, but a whole company. Plus, the games industry is now about a $21 billion business. A billion dollars isn't as much as it use to be if you want to keep a business running.

Don't get me wrong, a billion dollars isn't a small amout of money by any means, but it just isn't enough anymore.

That said, it is still weird to here anyone complain about only getting a billion dollars.
>_> Unless they say how many more billion dollars they COULD have gotten after.

Why would they need to make CoD a sub based model?

Hell he references WoW, World of Warcraft adds money to their bank account as well! So they can do just fine with getting people to pay 60 dollars a year for each game instead of 180 a year (though if I recall its only 120 if you buy a year at a time..)

Man I don't like this guy at all. He comes across as a total money grubbing fuckwad. Of course, that's the motto for all corporations so I'm sure he's a damn messiah for them.

That said, I hate activision (and EA and several other devs/pubs) far more so what ya gonna do...other than not buy their shit?

Redhawkmillenium:
Um...he didn't say it was the CoD series was a failure. He said they made a mistake in one regard. Why the misleading, sensationalist headline?

For the same reason they even bother reporting on whatever this clueless hack says.

It gets them clicks on the site.

dyre:

Deathfish15:
Someone find a way to get this guy fired from his job and put away from anything even resembling a video-game (even slot poker). He's been, for the past 2 years, trying to convince gaming companies to charge for it's online multiplayer.

I understand that "it's his job" as a market analyst who's supposed to wring every penny out of the sheep...er, customers. However, the question remains if his job is really needed and is not doing anything but a disservice? He makes predictions of companies failing, companies succeeding, and gives 'financial advise' to companies on ways to decrease their product and increase their profit.

Video games are about multiple things: innovation, creativity, artistic expression, and above-all-else they're about FUN. Pachter says they're about $$...he's a fool and he's wrong.

Is he even getting paid by a publisher to spew his crap? I've never seen anything from him further than what appears to be his version of common sense, which isn't something people usually pay for. I'm beginning to think it's not so much his "job" as much as it is some kind of sick passion of his. Either that, or he's somehow managed to carve a niche out of being a video-game related douchebag.

Yes, he gets paid for it (though by the company that employs him, not a publisher):

-~-~-~-~-Michael Pachter is an oft-quoted video game, social media, digital media and electronics analyst with Wedbush Securities. He is also the Head of Research for the Private Shares Group, a Wedbush division which focuses on companies which have not yet gone public such as Facebook (pre-IPO) and Twitter. He is regularly cited by national publications in the United States, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.-~-~-~-~-

And there are times that publishers hire him as an analyst and advisory from Wedbush. If I recall correctly, parts of Call of Duty Elite was set up based on his ideas (this was when it first released and was $100....yikes!).

well if it means single player becomes important then I'm ok with anything

A single player CoD game, or a subscription based one, would never generate $1 billion in sales. Plus, don't people already pay a monthly fee for their Xbox Live Gold for 'unlimited multiplayer'? Could Microsoft ethically allow a CoD multiplayer subscription model? It would kind of cheapen the value of Live wouldn't it? I guess as long as they were getting cut in on the action.

while i get that it might be bad for business to of trained players (anyone else get the visual of trained chimps tapping buttons on a controller?) to expect multiplayer free i will say its curious as the industry is moving mostly to free to play for the things that were subscription

Actually, the DLC (which is discounted to US$50 with the "season pass") probably needs to be mentioned as a rebuttal to his analysis. It's a minimum 4 packs at $15 a piece, which effectively doubles a player's expenditures for the game.

Granted not everybody buys DLC, but enough buy it to seriously tweak those numbers at least $15 more on average.

Rogjah:
A single player CoD game, or a subscription based one, would never generate $1 billion in sales. Plus, don't people already pay a monthly fee for their Xbox Live Gold for 'unlimited multiplayer'? Could Microsoft ethically allow a CoD multiplayer subscription model? It would kind of cheapen the value of Live wouldn't it? I guess as long as they were getting cut in on the action.

A handful of XBLA games tried it. That said, there's a reason no one remembers them. Flat fees (i.e. the online access codes) appear to be the preferred method that gets the most bang for their buck.

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