Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

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Andy Chalk:
Pachter also predicted that Nintendo will become "completely irrelevant" with the Wii U

I totally didn't see that one coming.

delete

Atmos Duality:

The thing about the anti-trust suit, is that it has to be filed in part with the United States (just as it was done in Microsoft vs United States), so they're really going to have to petition if it comes to that.

Whether or not it's quite up to anti-trust levels...well, it's getting there.

Of course in the ISP market, Comcast has had anti-trust levels of market share for years now, and nobody has done shit.
So maybe it won't come to that.

Perhaps so, but what are the differences in competition between the two markets then? Because I am pretty sure that partly accounts for the inaction against Comcast.

I want to believe that, but reality suggests it's more than the WiiU launch. I keep seeing non-Mario titles being pushed back, and back, and back. Kid Icarus: Uprising was delayed twice, for a total of 5 months.

Fire Emblem: Awakening has been out in Japan since April of this year, and will be out in Europe and US a solid year after that.

Konami's new Castlevania game has been pushed back again recently, to March of 2013.

It's an avoidance pattern, and so far, only Capcom has been bucking the trend.

Sorry, I should have said that the Wii U launch is one of several factors involved. I didn't mean to imply that it was the sole operative one.

Regarding the avoidance pattern, it could either be some bad management or possibly that their comparative advantage has become smaller (I should probably get out my books on trade theory for this). Or both.

I don't know what is holding them back.
The 3DS has raw performance specs on par with a Pentium 2, and ZSNES was running on those just fine back in 2000.
Keep in mind, that Pentium 2 was also running solely with MMX support; processors have evolved a LOT since then.
A. LOT.

Maybe the emulator environment has to be bootstrapped to the regular 3DS environment, and the load is just too much.
Though that would imply some fairly serious design flaws in what is supposedly a modern handheld.

That raises the question: If it is bootstrapped, why didn't they put the SNES emulator in rather than just the NES?

The only answer I can think of is that shoving in the SNES emulator together with the GB/GBC emulator was too much for the space available, which led to them going for second best option (NES + GB + GBC).

I am not very aware of what those design flaws you mention would be though. You mind giving me the general gist of things?

It is a really sad time we are living in :(
It isn't enough to make profit, It isn't enough to make a good profit
You need to suck up all of people's money like some sort of greedy vacuum cleaner
Only then you will be considered successful
Seriously people who supports such approach need to be gathered up in one place and euthanized
For everybody's sake...

P.S. And engrave on their mass grave "You can't take your money to the grave"

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Perhaps so, but what are the differences in competition between the two markets then? Because I am pretty sure that partly accounts for the inaction against Comcast.

The ISP market in the United States is a corrupt mess.

Comcast has been shuffling its assets around for years dodging warnings from the FCC, but so far that's all I've seen from the FCC: all bluster and no action. They probably have friends in high places, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

As for gaming, for the longest time, the US political system was unwilling to take the gaming industry seriously (apart from a lot of ignorant reactionary organizations and "save the childrens" saber-rattling prudes like Jack Thompson).

Gaming is now culturally mainstream, but they aren't nearly as old or embedded in the political system as the other media fat-cats (film, music, TV and radio). Based on the "symbiotic" relationship I've seen between the government and that lot (especially media giants like Viacom), I'm not holding my breath on an anti-trust suit.

Sorry, I should have said that the Wii U launch is one of several factors involved. I didn't mean to imply that it was the sole operative one.

Regarding the avoidance pattern, it could either be some bad management or possibly that their comparative advantage has become smaller (I should probably get out my books on trade theory for this). Or both.

This point I actually have a theory about: The Strong Yen.
Currency exchange losses crushed Nintendo in 2010-2011, resulting in their first ever posted loss.

Nintendo, and much of the Japanese gaming industry, has resorted to an extreme fallback on their domestic market for revenue. Squeenix, Konami, Capcom, Namco...all used to be very prominent players in the global gaming market. Now, only a handful of their very biggest games get ported out in a timely manner, if at all.

A few have attempted outsourcing to lower the costs and exploit tax benefits (Square-Enix especially) but for the most part, Japan is not a dominant player in the global gaming business; they're pretty niche now actually.

Others have told me that Japan is also facing a cultural identity crisis within their own domestic media markets as well, but not living in Japan, I do not know the degree or significance of that crisis, or if it's a major factor here.
Just something to think about.

That raises the question: If it is bootstrapped, why didn't they put the SNES emulator in rather than just the NES?

The only answer I can think of is that shoving in the SNES emulator together with the GB/GBC emulator was too much for the space available, which led to them going for second best option (NES + GB + GBC).

The GB/GBC emulator is easy enough to account for: The Game Boy Advance!

In addition to the GB/GBC compatibility (the GBC and GB were scarcely different at the firmware level), I recall a number of classic NES being ported to the GBA.

Even Metroid: Zero Mission included a fully playable version of the original NES Metroid on it.
So we know that one way or another, the GBA could emulate all of those.

The GBA also has several SNES classics, remade/converted for the GBA.
A Link to the Past, Super Mario 2, 3, and Yoshi's Island. Even Square-Enix remixed several Final Fantasy titles for the GBA and DS.
They aren't direct ports: For example, the audio quality in LttP is distinctly limited, with worse sampling, and many surrogate/replacement sound effects. Signs clearly point to some sort of conversion process.

Since my Zero Mission version of the NES Metroid works on my DS, the NES emulation was probably handled by an emulator packed on top of the original ROM.

Knowing this, I think we can safely guess that the 3DS's current emulation environment (NES + GB/GBC + GBA) all traces back directly to the GBA. (hmm, now I have to wonder if they strapped the guts of a GBA to the 3DS, or if it's handled via software. It's possible it's not bootstrapped at all.)

So...an SNES emulator on the 3DS has no choice but to be purely-software.
The question: Can the 3DS handle it?

The Wii's Virtual Console has a functional SNES emulator, and plays those games extremely close to their original fidelity (quirks and all). From what I can tell, the emulator environment consumes very little overhead.

Of course, that's relative to the Wii, which has considerably more resources than the 3DS.
However we've had SNES emulators on other consoles already (Dreamcast, and the original PSP), plus a whole gaggle of amateur/independent fans writing their own emulators for PC for ~15 years now.

We know that Nintendo is experienced with emulation, so that leaves me to believe that either the cost of developing an SNES emulator for the 3DS outweighed the benefits, that they think the 3DS cannot handle the load, or they just didn't care to begin with.

I am not very aware of what those design flaws you mention would be though. You mind giving me the general gist of things?

Limited dedicated memory for applications, (it does seem to take a while to load/unload applications from my 3DS, even NES games), possibly expressed as limited Nvram for whatever OS image the 3DS is running.

Who knows? Maybe their anti-piracy/anti-jailbreaking system is consuming a lot of overhead.

I'd need more than the listed technical specs to tell you, because while we know the 3DS's hardware, we have no idea how it's actually being utilized.

EDIT: (ripped from another forum, someone dumped the system info, and this is what it spat out)

Nintendo 1048 0H (Custom): CPU, GPU, VRAM & DSP all on one chip
ARM11 MPCore 2x 268MHz & 2x VFP Co-Processor
PICA 200 at 268MHz
128MB FCRAM
6MB VRAM
133/4MHz DSP(sound processor)

If an underclocked PSP (222 Mhz) running a Windows CE environment with ZSNES could hack it just fine, then I think a single 266Mhz processor could too. Might be tricky depending on how the processing environment is set up, but based on the hardware specs I've found, it's well within the 3DS's reach.

Andy Chalk:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 just rang up $1 billion in sales in 15 days, you might be thinking, so... a failure? "Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective. They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty," Pachter told the audience.

"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."

So basically, Call of Duty is a failure because it only made a billion dollars when it could have made more if Activision was even greedier.

Only failure here is, as usual, Michael Pachter. The dumb sod doesn't even seem to realize that CoD gets $15 map pack DLC that lots of people also buy... Oops, so much for "You never have to pay again, you just wait for the next Call of Duty" you dumb fuck!

He makes a good point. Call of Duty is basically the only console game I play these days. I still buy other games, but if I didn't have a gaming PC I would probably play Call of Duty exclusively. They could make a hell of a lot more money moving to a subscription model and axing the single-player portion entirely. Hell, they could make Call of Duty FREE to pick up and still make more money than they do today.

I also agree that the Wii U will make Nintendo irrelevant this generation. They've been technologically behind since the early 2000s now, and the Wii U will continue that trend when the next Sony/MS consoles launch next year. A lot of people don't think that's a big deal, but at some point, graphics do actually matter. Especially when your online component is utter shit and you can't attract third party support because of how pitiful your console's tech specs are.

Yeah, Call of Duty isn't a failure.
Sure, they could stand to make even more money, but a billion dollars?
I wouldn't really consider that a failure- bit of a misleading title there I guess.
It worker though- I probably wouldn't have clicked on the article if the headline was "Michael Pachter says the Call of Duty Franchise could stand to make some more money than what it already earns."

Triforceformer:
They still made a billion dollars.

Just because a game is successful doesn't mean it's worth a publisher's time. More often than not you see perfectly successful developers canned for no reason other than that while their games were successful, they weren't big enough successes. This is what killed Westwood. This is what killed Pandemic. This is why Blizzard freely admits that if they knew what they know now, SC2 wouldn't have happened.

And from a financial standpoint what's his name is absolutely right.

He seems to neglect why WoW draws it's subscription base as far as it does though. I don't think cowwadooty could sustain the MMO content release treatment.

Twilight_guy:
I think he forgot an important factor to gamers: They are the the kind of anti-establishment people who protest games for doing anything like that. I think that's an important factor to consider when monitizeing.

Actually, the largest demographic of people who play CoD are between 8 and 24, and are glad to pay (or have their parents or Santa pay) 60 every year for an upgrade. They aren't anti-establishment or intelligent. They are Frat-Boys and little boys who want guns that shoot.

The type of people who will get mad about shit like this are fanboys/geeks, not mindless consumers (which CoD relies upon for yearly purchase).

I've got a question for anyone to answer though: Is Activision to blame for the constant two-team, one-a-year CoD rut we're stuck in, or are Treyarch and Infinity Ward? If you know the business side of the story let me know.

Those are definitely BOLD statements. No way in hell am I going to pay every month to play a game I may not be consistantly playing to begin with. I'll jump through Activisions hoop like a well trained dolphin when they come out with a CoD I don't despise, but you slap a monthly price tag on that bitch and I AM GONE. Simply not worth it.

I think of WoW players as being clinically insane for pissing away the money they do on a game thats nearly a decade old. What else are you still doing that you did in 2004? I'd still be in 8th grade, now I'm a college graduate. Also, if you play and pay for WoW, you have zero room to argue against anyone who pays for CoD every year, EVER.

Atmos Duality:

So...an SNES emulator on the 3DS has no choice but to be purely-software.
The question: Can the 3DS handle it?

I'm worried this might cross a line with forum rules, at least one model of DS flash cart has an SNES emulator in it's firmware, and it allegedly runs decently without having access to 3DS features. So I'd guess that the 3DS is capable, it's just a matter of doing it efficiently (which I suspect is the problem with virtual console games for 3DS).

They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. 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? 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."

NO! Keep your dirty capitalist whoredom out of my games industry!!!!!1111111111111111111

as a financial consultant I have to agree with Michael here, Activision could be making LOADS more on this franchise if they change their business model, but that's as far as I go into saying he's right, because when you look at the target audience if Activision went the subscription based route they'll make some money but the same time they would be alienating about 80% of their player base. For better or for worst, CoD is a poor man's game, shell out $60 a year and you're done, no need to buy/play anything else until next year, the minute you tell people to spend money monthly to play the game, a big majority will just walk away.

So yeah, Activision could be making more in theory, but look at the market they're targeting. Nobody wants to pay to be yelled at by 12 year old's or be that 12 year old!

Schadrach:

I'm worried this might cross a line with forum rules, at least one model of DS flash cart has an SNES emulator in it's firmware, and it allegedly runs decently without having access to 3DS features. So I'd guess that the 3DS is capable, it's just a matter of doing it efficiently (which I suspect is the problem with virtual console games for 3DS).

I don't think the mods are going to bother as long as you don't start linking sources.
If talking about the existence of illicit activities were strictly prohibited, we'd have no topics even remotely connected to piracy in the first place.

But that basically confirms my suspicions.

Pity that Nintendo doesn't see the market potential at work here. It's not like it's competing with Wii Virtual Console sales significantly, and Sony already has a similar, better system in place for their PS3 and PSP line (Vita included) for selling old PS1 games. In my opinion, those games are freaking LIFE SUPPORT for the Vita right now (I didn't even know Tomba was available until watching Jim Sterling's episode on the Vita).

Nintendo should aim to capitalize here; what risk is there? Is there some sort of tariffs or registration cost I'm missing? The costs of development should be MINIMAL, seeing how they already have several working emulators for different systems already; including the SNES emulator on the friggin Wii!

It just boggles the mind that historically, pirates can create perfectly functional emulators on no budget with dumped firmware, while Nintendo does nothing despite having everything. It's like they're daring someone to create the next R4 for the 3DS, instead of making their console as appealing as it can be in the time before that inevitably happens.

(you hear that ticking clock Nintendo? That's inevitability, so stop fucking around regurgitating Mario and diversify your lineup before the pirates do it for you!)

I see a lot of opportunity on the 3DS for low-weight applications, including new/retro gaming, but for some reason, Big N only capitalizes on very specific titles (Star Fox 64, Ocarina of Time), instead of that massive library of quality titles. Keeping in mind, Nintendo is unique in having the advantage of actually owning the rights to a lot of quality retro games; they get the full cut, not just royalties.

If they lead off with enough good SNES titles, it might get other retro giants like Capcom, Konami and Squeenix on board, and just maybe encourage them to develop more ACTUAL titles on the system globally.

Ugh..this topic is supposed to be about the ravings of a greedy overpaid sensationalist imbecile, and here I'm going on for paragraphs about Nintendo and the 3DS...

In regards to the SNES on the 3DS.. I think they may still do it, we just haven't seen anything come out yet. They've already added quite a lot of games, includes NES and GameGear.

Also, to the guy (or whatever) that thinks because Nintendo is "behind the times" in hardware they're going to die out.. that's exactly what they said about the Wii. Why does nobody ever pay attention to what happens in History class? They just make snarky remarks and assume it'll be true because they don't like something. Nintendo could very well succeed yet again with the Wii U. It's only been out maybe a month, if that, and to say it's going to die because of that is ludicrous.

EDIT: About the R4 and other Flash Carts.. I agree it is silly of Nintendo to everything in their power to try and stop homebrew and other software like this. If I hadn't soft-modded my Wii, I'd have stopped using it years ago. Being able to play SNES and GBA games via emulator on my TV was awesome, and I didn't have to fiddle about with the Virtual Console's limited selection, so EarthBound and Mother 3 were very much played on it, along with other games I loved years ago.

Is Wedbush Securities owned by EA or just Michael Patcher? Patcher constantly pimps EA's business model, not understanding (or not caring) that EA's business model is what makes everyone hate EA. Call of Duty was a commercial success.

Now, I know a Billion dollars is a lot, but then again you look at a company like activision and its not as much to them as it is to general populace. still, I dont think you should charge money for multiplayer on a game like COD when you come out with a brand new game every year or so. especially when from the sounds of what this guy preaches every game with a multiplayer aspect should be charged for it. and theres honestly games not worthhile to charge for multiplayer. I could promise if nintendo asked me for money for each pokemon trade or battle they never see me on the global center.

Oh. I thought this guy actually had something intellegent to say. Oh well.
Subscription would ruin the CoD brand--and that's the main reason why people have been sticking with it this far.
There's other games out that have just as good multiplayer--seeing how everyone's been trying to catch them for years--and there's other games that allow you to play online for free.

I speculate that a lot people aren't going to want to pay subscription on top of subcription (for the Xbox players).

I would love it if they made multiplayer subscription based for the CoD games, it means the racist fearmongering pro-Amurrica military fanwank franchise would finally die! But the possibilities don't end there, what if EA, Activision, and the rest all did this... Then nobody would buy their games, the evil empires would collapse, and there would be room for game studios that don't just shit out middle of the road, lowest common denominator, over-budgeted, underwritten pieces of garbage!

What, I can dream, can't I?

Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money ,money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, (gasp), more money.

No let's not call COD a failure because it incites others to create the same boring shooters and generally causes the industry to stagnate, let's call it a failure because it doesn't add millions on top of the hundreds of millions it has and possibly will make.

Heavens Tsbetsy, the one thing that isn't subjective, but deserves its own objective spot, the desire for money on top of more money.

;d

"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."

Is this guy a plant by Karl Marx to make capitalism look bad?

I mean that's shit you say behind closed doors to your filthy rich financiers, not to customers saying "you got a really good deal, and that's fucking horrible"

Pachter, it's simple economics. People buy the game at $60 THEY WILL NOT BUY IT AT $180!!! I don't get these emphatically retarded businessmen who think that the consumers are such feckless morons they will pay ANYTHING for a game.

"Prediction: The next Bungie game will be single-player only; the multiplayer aspect of that game will be subscription only,"

Why would I pay a subscription for something the equivalent of what others give out for free?

How does he think that "supply and demand" are irrelevant here.

He just seems to think "they'll buy it no matter what, they should charge insanely high prices"

A new untested franchise is not an essential, people can skip it, and they WILL if even after you've bought the game, paid for Xbox Live Gold, and the Internet, they STILL want more money for online.

I pay Xbox Live for the ability to play multiplayer. I pay Blizzard for access to Multiplayer in WoW.

Be mad at Xbox for charging not the gamers for not paying you.

Didnt the last COD try to make more money by releasing elite ( basically pay monthly for......) The new one gave elite away for free /shrug

I honestly don't see a game that's not CoD or halo succeeding with a subscription based multiplayer system (on top of xbox live, no less). I know for a fact i wouldn't buy a game that forced me to pay a monthly fee to keep playing it online, and I know a lot of other people who feel the same way, so it might be more of a failure than he's envisioning. Either way, developers are assholes. $10 for 3 maps within a month of the game's release when the game shipped with a substandard amount of maps is bullshit. Online passes are bullshit. This entire AAA industry is turning into exploitative bullshit.

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