Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

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I have the striking urge to take out fire and pitch forks and burn him. He's dealing with customer base that already feels like they're being ripped off at every new development of pricing between DLC and making genres all feel and play the same. I guess he's the kind of guy that dude that worked at EA ranted about on Twitter.

Sean951:

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...).

I actually disagree with both statements. I think being a "hardcore" gamer means you care about games beyond just the novelty of it. Like how many people picked up the Wii played for a bit and they liked their Wii bowling games and what not put in time and dedication perhaps to become better but they never cared about the Wii or the game beyond strictly playing it. My view is that a hardcore gamers might be a person that sits down goes to message board to discuss what makes a person a casual or hardcore gamer.

Didn't Pachter also say Nintendo would fail with the Wii? Or, something to that effect.

Maybe I just don't pay enough attention, but I've never seen Pachter's predictions actually happen.

so if Activision takes, take 2, then Rockstars grandparent company would be Activision? I don't want to see GTA released every bi-year by 2 diff company's.

The Rogue Wolf:
Well, the thing is that Pachter wants it all- he wants a $60 price tag, monthly subscriptions AND a steady stream of map packs/DLC.

The sad thing is that there are so many gamers latched onto to the CoD/BF teats that it could actually happen that way.

But to that guy who pretty much exclusively plays Call Of Duty from week to week, year after year, paying extra to cover all of that blatant price gouging isn't that much of an extra stretch. From a business perspective it makes a twisted sort of sense for a market juggernaut like COD to do all they can to separate themselves from the rest of the market. Because from where they're standing it makes absolutely no sense to operate like they're a gateway drug into the wider gaming hobby and risk losing that consumer to competitors, when they could monopolise that initial sale and all over subsequent sales instead. For a good example of the practice in action just look at Games Workshop versus the rest of the tabletop miniature industry. Games Workshop has their own stores that sell self-branded products all the way down to their own overpriced line of super glue.

Cultivating your own fenced off corner of the market is also a good way of convincing people to pay more for your product because they'll have less comparisons with which to make an informed judgement on the real value of the products they're purchasing.

So what he's saying is NOT that COD is a failure, but that it could be milking people during tough economic times for more precious pennies that it currently is. Much like advising a coke dealer to start new customers out with the good shit and then giving them sub-par cocaine the moment they're hooked.

I tend not to agree with him, but that's mostly because I think he's a twat.
He has a point, and I'll certainly suggest that cod would do just fine fully eliminating single player while sp games dump mp, but it's his belief that everything should operate on a wow model that I disagree with. There's not enough game there for 180 bucks a year.

People stay on mmos because of the human interaction- cod doesn't have that (unless being insulted by 15 year olds counts)

TheRightToArmBears:
Wrong (methinks). I don't know if you've played any of the older Call of Duty games online, but they're mostly either fairly barren or full of hackers. Most Call of Duty players get the latest version with in a few months of it coming out (and most of the rest get it when they can find it somewhere for non-stupid money).

Actually quite a few people still play MW2, I do it with a friend every now and then because it's still kinda fun.

I think he forgot about the DLC aspect, if someone buys the game from the beginning and the DLC at full price you have 120 dollars if 4 DLC get released which is usually the case. Then there are the collector editions. There are groups of people that like sects of gaming, first person shooter is the widest aspect of that and more than likely if you like first person shooters you go out and buy CoD, they own that market and any time you own a market you can't ever say you'll be hurting for money.

Now if they could make more money off of doing a subscription online... who knows. There is a definite possibility they could but what about the people that get scared off and don't buy the game at all? I think activision went the smart route, they have the free multiplayer then they have elite that get the hardcore players that want to show off.

The Gentleman:

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.

I see. I tend to stick with PC and dabble in PS3 and Wii from time to time so I don't have much experience with Live or Live Arcade. At least with the online access codes they're upfront about it. I figure it's better than microtransactions. I can see it now "Pay 15 CoD creds to activate UAV". Or maybe CoD needs hats, lots and lots of hats. At the very least uniform insignias.

You're right though, the map packs are their way of generating extra money, it's unfair to say that they've failed. Also, as it has been mentioned before "gamers" isn't a single population, there are subsets. CoD succeeded the same way the Wii did, it brought in a ton of new people who normally wouldn't have been interested. There are a huge number of people who if they didn't play CoD, wouldn't play anything. So Activision has successfully taken their money which normally wouldn't be in the industry. The rest of us CoD purchasers, buy it, play the single player, play the multiplayer for a while, then move on to the next game just like Pachter thinks we should. I really don't think CoD is taking as much money 'out of' the industry as he may think. Also, he doesn't take player volume into account. WoW has about what? 9 million subscribers? So to even the score, Black Ops 2 needs to sell about 27 million copies? I'm pretty sure that's do-able. Revenue per player doesn't matter, total revenue does. Plus I'm guessing WoW has higher maintenance costs though I will admit I have no factual basis for that (Does that make me an analyst? Of course not, analysts wouldn't admit it).

dragongit:
What a world we would live in, when making a billion dollars is concidered a failure.

It's not about how much you made, it's about how much you COULD have made.

The management of a company isn't gonna give two sh*ts about you having made one billion dollars if they are convinced that you could have made two billion dollars instead (or three, or four). If you're the CEO of a company, your job is to optimize, and making less than you could have made is a failure at optimization, no matter what you achieved.

I seriously hope Activision doesn't buy Take-Two. Games like BioShock and Spec Ops would be totally fucked.

Ronack:
I hate this man with a burning passion.

This is basically my main thought about Michael Pachter.

I haven't heard a single thing that's come out of this guy's mouth that wasn't utterly stupid. I try my best to ignore him and pretend he doesn't exist.

LG Jargon:
And as a pretty loyal Nintendo customer, I hope that what he said about Nintendo becoming "completely irrelevant" is bull, too. Seriously, they're the reason I'm a gamer today. If they folded or faded into obscurity....brrr! I don't want to think about that too much. -.-

Don't worry about it. Pachter's been predicting Nintendo's downfall for years, he hasn't been right yet. I don't think I've seen a prediction of his that has come true about anything, let alone Nintendo.

Covarr:
Conclusion: Pachter is still an idiot. His stuff still isn't newsworthy.

And that is basically the gist of this thread.

I really wish they would stop posting Pachter stuff on here... or anywhere really. If we don't start ignoring him he'll never go away.

I actually would TOTALLY be down for paying $15 a month or more for my Battlefield, keeping in mind that, instead of "new games" they would just continually add new content over a 4 or so year period (similar to MMOs).

but I also don't think all games should go to a subscription model. For example, the upcoming Simcity; a subscription model would probably turn people off to the biggest feature - interconnected, social city building.

LG Jargon:

"Prediction: The next Bungie game will be single-player only; the multiplayer aspect of that game will be subscription only," he said. "Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold."

Pachter also predicted that Nintendo will become "completely irrelevant" with the Wii U, that Activision will buy Take-Two and that THQ is pretty much screwed.

...

Shit, if this is the future of the game industry, I think we're in for another collapse. Or, more hopefully, a grand "reckoning", if you could call it that, of consumers finally saying enough and bucking against the likes of EA and Activision and their shitty business practices.

He's right about Activision being greedy pigs, but that little comment about them buying Take-Two and that THQ is screwed sends more then a few shivers up my spine.

Unfortunately the situation for THQ is looking quite dire, and you don't need to be an "analyst" to see that.

So, if I understand this correctly, he not only takes $60 as the figure for publisher revenue (false), but also completely fails to even acknowledge basic economy (people tend to buy less when you charge more), and conveniently ignores the decided trend of subscriptions going the way of the dodo - unless of course SW:ToR going F2P in 6 months was not worth his expensive attention.

DLC, server operating cost, WoW expansion pack revenue, CoD Elite, initial barrier for CoD to take off as it did - so many reasons to ridicule him, so little time.

New Frontiersman:

I really wish they would stop posting Pachter stuff on here... or anywhere really. If we don't start ignoring him he'll never go away.

Do keep in mind he is taken seriously - not by people actually paying attention to games, but by the suits paying attention to gaming revenue. It's always good to know what idiocy is in vogue with the ones in charge.

Michael Patcher doesn't know what "failure" is. That's the more important point.

Kargathia:
Do keep in mind he is taken seriously - not by people actually paying attention to games, but by the suits paying attention to gaming revenue. It's always good to know what idiocy is in vogue with the ones in charge.

Keep in mind Patcher's job has little to do with these predictions.

Game sites see that he's an analyst and assume that because he crunches numbers in a gaming related field, he must have something to say.

Actually, at this point I'm pretty sure they know his unique brand of ridiculousness will get hits.

"Patcher says sky is blue" would probably get 50K hits.

Subscriptions? Please, that's just another failure.
Chocolate covered meth cigarettes packaged with the game as a free sample, and then sold separately at a premium. That's how you make a successful gaming franchise.

The old idea of what a game is is a complete failure, everyone knows customers don't want any real value, they just want to buy a box that they can throw more money into. I know business well, I'm so smart.

Jesus christ Escapist have some self respect and stop giving these ignorant twats the spotlight, the only reason he still makes a living with this sort of trolling is because you guys give him the power.

I've got the feeling he get's most of his information via a crudely scrawled circle in the dirt and an array of cast about chicken bones.

PRAISE THE BONES!

Epic double post

New Frontiersman:

Covarr:
Conclusion: Pachter is still an idiot. His stuff still isn't newsworthy.

And that is basically the gist of this thread.

I really wish they would stop posting Pachter stuff on here... or anywhere really. If we don't start ignoring him he'll never go away.

I have to wonder how it is that that man still has a job.

You know, as much as Jim Sterling annoys me sometimes esp. with his "Thank God for me." shtick, I have to say that I think what he said about Collector's Editions and "Complete Editions" rings more true than anything this idiot says.

EDIT: You know when it comes to breeding bad habits into gamers.

Andy Chalk:
Pachter also predicted that Nintendo will become "completely irrelevant" with the Wii U, that Activision will buy Take-Two and that THQ is pretty much screwed.

GUYS! BUY UP STOCK IN THQ! GET OUT THE TRUMPETS! GET OUT THE CAKES AND WARHAMMER GAMES! THQ IS GOING TO LIIIIIIIVE!

(I love Michael Pachter, his predictions are always dead on target, if he were facing the opposite direction.)

Isn't there the "Patcher Rule" that anything he says tends to have the exact opposite impact? So, in reverse-Patcher speak, Call of Duty is a "failure", Nintendo is "irrelevant", and Madden is "totally original".

I guess this can only mean good news for Call of Duty and Nintendo.

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?

\
because this is escapist. duh.

So, they are going to go with subscription for shooter multiplayer, which, COD being huge, sets a standard for next gen online gaming.
i am dissapointed.
Wont touch me though, i only care about singleplayer.

(I love Michael Pachter, his predictions are always dead on target, if he were facing the opposite direction.)

wait, are you claiming that nintendo is going to remain a big company? after the failure of WiiU?

New Frontiersman:

LG Jargon:
And as a pretty loyal Nintendo customer, I hope that what he said about Nintendo becoming "completely irrelevant" is bull, too. Seriously, they're the reason I'm a gamer today. If they folded or faded into obscurity....brrr! I don't want to think about that too much. -.-

Don't worry about it. Pachter's been predicting Nintendo's downfall for years, he hasn't been right yet. I don't think I've seen a prediction of his that has come true about anything, let alone Nintendo.

Phew! I was more than a little worried. I could kiss you....I won't, but...you get what I'm saying. >.>;;

tautologico:

LG Jargon:

"Prediction: The next Bungie game will be single-player only; the multiplayer aspect of that game will be subscription only," he said. "Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold."

Pachter also predicted that Nintendo will become "completely irrelevant" with the Wii U, that Activision will buy Take-Two and that THQ is pretty much screwed.

...

Shit, if this is the future of the game industry, I think we're in for another collapse. Or, more hopefully, a grand "reckoning", if you could call it that, of consumers finally saying enough and bucking against the likes of EA and Activision and their shitty business practices.

He's right about Activision being greedy pigs, but that little comment about them buying Take-Two and that THQ is screwed sends more then a few shivers up my spine.

Unfortunately the situation for THQ is looking quite dire, and you don't need to be an "analyst" to see that.

Urgh...I hate to ask this, since I don't want to instigate something, but...how so? I mean, what makes you figure that? Most of their games seem popular enough to keep them afloat, and they just got done with that Humble THQ Bundle. I'm sure they're not in too dire of a situation...right?

TizzytheTormentor:
Why does the escapist care about what this dude says?

OT: It is not a failure, I actually applaud Activision for not giving COD subscription fees, just because they aren't charging extra for multiplayer, doesn't mean they are a failure.

Besides, correct me if I am wrong, but don't MMO's need the money from the fees to help keep the game running? COD doesn't.

Reminds me of the jack-off at EA who wanted to charge people for reloads in their game, what a load of shit.

Actually, it does.

Unless the game uses dedicated servers, its a publisher matter to keep servers running.

Its the reason AAA games with no dedicated servers die off quick.

So the jist:

To make more money with videogames, make the consumer pay more for them.

Sounds legit. Who's to say that the umpteen million teenagers playing COD are playing it because they only have to buy it once per year, they can probably convince parents or a sibling to buy it for them. Paying a monthly subscription can be difficult for people too young to have paypal or credit cards. I like how he just skips that part in his glorious equation.

It's like saying girl scouts would be rich if they just charged 10 times as much for their cookies.

He also fails to recognise the growth in free multiplayer shooters like Planetside2. Gamers are not stupid, if we get ripped off then the games publisher ultimately fails, they need the loyal fan base to make their billions - we already know that games are expensive, and they are about as expensive as they should ever get. People who play WoW probably don't play as many other games, don't buy as many other games as COD players, because their gaming budget all goes into Blizzards bank account. Really I think he assumes that all gamers are the same, gamer=consumer=muppet.

*AHEM*

Towards the end of it. Thank you.

But seriously, I know more money is always better but...they've sold quite their share of copies so far. It's not even a month since the game came out. So yeah, there's that.

He's an ANALYST, he works for Wedbush SECURITIES. I can see the words, but all I'm reading is PFFFFTTFPTPFPFPFPFPPPFAARAHGHGAHGAHGAGHGAHBLAGHBLAGHGHAGBLBLBLAGLAGLAGLAGGAG.

LG Jargon:

New Frontiersman:

LG Jargon:
And as a pretty loyal Nintendo customer, I hope that what he said about Nintendo becoming "completely irrelevant" is bull, too. Seriously, they're the reason I'm a gamer today. If they folded or faded into obscurity....brrr! I don't want to think about that too much. -.-

Don't worry about it. Pachter's been predicting Nintendo's downfall for years, he hasn't been right yet. I don't think I've seen a prediction of his that has come true about anything, let alone Nintendo.

Phew! I was more than a little worried. I could kiss you....I won't, but...you get what I'm saying. >.>;;

tautologico:

LG Jargon:

...

Shit, if this is the future of the game industry, I think we're in for another collapse. Or, more hopefully, a grand "reckoning", if you could call it that, of consumers finally saying enough and bucking against the likes of EA and Activision and their shitty business practices.

He's right about Activision being greedy pigs, but that little comment about them buying Take-Two and that THQ is screwed sends more then a few shivers up my spine.

Unfortunately the situation for THQ is looking quite dire, and you don't need to be an "analyst" to see that.

Urgh...I hate to ask this, since I don't want to instigate something, but...how so? I mean, what makes you figure that? Most of their games seem popular enough to keep them afloat, and they just got done with that Humble THQ Bundle. I'm sure they're not in too dire of a situation...right?

THQ is not doing well at all. They've been consistently losing money over the past few years on almost all of their products. Look it up on any gaming website. Most of their games are losing them money (outside of Saints Row and Dawn of War, I think...)

Andy, the next time you get an urge to quote this guy, could you just throw down some I-ching coins instead and give us a reading off of those?

It'd probably be more accurate, and it'd be one less place giving credence to this guy and helping him to be an "authority" of any sort. I have to wonder how many lives and investment strategies (not to mention games) his predictions have already ruined, and really don't think we should be helping him with it.

Except that this guy is pretty much always fucking wrong.
Oh Pachter, you so silly.

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