Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

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*shrugs*

To late for that now. Assuming that CoD hadn't conditioned gamers to expect free multilayer, there's been increased hostility toward the 'pay2play' model. WoW is really the only one that gets away with it now days, every one else? they should be going Free2Play any week now

JediMB:

Ronack:
I hate this man with a burning passion. The only way to justify a subscription based model for Call of Duty is if they actually went the way of World of Warcraft and designed a multiplayer only game that they would have to maintain and update for years and years to come.

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

Because I'm a Leviathan now, or something.

Don't bite his head off. Bite his limbs off. One at a time. Make the bastard suffer.

Kapitcha: Deal me in. 5 on Goku to win the Goku VS. Superman battle!

This takes me back... I think I remember seeing a bunch of people on a thread (might've been right here on The Escapist) saying that they bought Call of Duty games annually, not because they were fans, in fact they didn't even enjoy it, but because they heard their friends payed it, and it would give them something to do with it. Wouldn't it be awkward if their friends felt the exact same way?

Captcha: "Haters Gonna Hate!" Heh, heh, heh...

...Sigh.

Yeah, Pachter? I didn't really like you before you came out here and basically said, "Game companies? You could be screwing your customers so much harder, what's wrong with you?"

Call of Duty can add a subscription, that'd be great, I could watch the number of people playing CoD multiplayer hit the floor. There will still be the dedicated players willing to pay to play but casual players won't bite.

Pachter:
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...
In context of the argument, you're saying CoD4.x competes with itself (other Activision titles), and that it's a failure because it isn't World of Warcraft?? The game sets sales records year after year, and from a monetary standpoint, IT SUCCEEDS MORE THAN EVERY OTHER CONSOLE GAME.

Even from an economic standpoint it's the top dog: every shooter out there wants to be Call of Duty 4.x (and always fails when they try), so long as the status-quo remains, the rest of the market has to dance to THEIR tune. Turning CoD4.x into a subscription title could actually give its competitors something to leverage on them. A selling point that isn't just based on a franchise name.

So overall, I'm certain this is EXACTLY what Activision is aiming for; just shy of monopoly.
Speaking of monopolistic practices...

Pachter:
I think the first thing Activision buys is Take-Two, because that fits in very nicely.

Good fucking God I hope not. I really hope not.
Take-Two is about the only AAA Publisher who hasn't pissed me off to the point where I stopped buying their products on principle alone. On average, their games feel a bit less generic than normal, and I actually have...FUN playing them.

I shouldn't act too surprised. Every other excellent AAA developer and publisher has gone down the shitter in the last decade, only to be muscled out by douchebags in suits peddling the most generic pigshit year after year.

Pachter:
"I think Nintendo becomes completely irrelevant," Pachter claimed. "They have their niche, Nintendo's first-party content is great content, and hardcore people will keep buying their consoles, but they're not going to only play with Nintendo consoles."

*glares angrily at 3DS*
Tell me about it.

Outside of Japan, Big N's systems have first-party titles and close to nothing else (maybe a port of a Capcom game or two, but unless you're addicted to Resident Evil and Street Fighter, that doesn't mean much anymore).
Their whole game market and strategy is shitbiscuits.

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

Er, if that was a reference to Halo, Bungie isn't developing Halo anymore.
If not, well. Carry on.

He's not saying that it's a failure per se, just that they could've made even more money. He's been saying that CoD's multiplayer should have a subscription for a while now and gets a lot of flack for it but it makes sense from a completely business point of view.

Now of course they tried to test the waters for that with Elite but obviously that didn't work out since they dropped the subscription fee with the release of Black Ops 2. Now obviously that's different than forcing people to play a subscription if that want to access multiplayer at all, but I think there'd be enough backlash against that move since it'd be blatantly a cash grab.

His info is a bit skewed...it's $60 for the game, and then 15 for each map-pack they put out which usually totals 60 bucks as well, then a month later the next CoD comes out. And the map packs hold nothing more than new maps that were probably created in the dev cycle.

Fellow points out something that make's sense business wise and is only making a hypothetical situation.

People go ahead and say he's an asshole and is dumb and stupid and should shut up.

The Internet - Claiming your opinions are wrong since 1997!

A shit ton of people do buy DLC costing ~60 dollars in a COD lifespan.
so make that 120, Analyst man who takes away my faith in humanity.

He is basically arguing that a company that does not entirely manipulate its consumers is "A failure"
What are morals?

Dude makes a lot of sense. It's scary to see it get implemented because I would hate to pay subscription (I buy retail) with no credit card or any kind of debit card.

I understand where Pachter is coming from, but pay to play is becoming a thing of the past. Only big titles that have carry over from years past like Call of Duty and WoW can/could pull of subscription any more. Yet that will soon be a thing of the past. Free to play multiplayer with micro transactions is the true wave of the future. It is by far the superior economic model. Everyone pretty much pays the max they are willing to spend (assuming it's a good game with good items). That means you get the maximum amount of money out of the rich and the poor, and you therefore maximize revenue.

I've noticed a lot of people saying that Packter is an idiot and this isn't news. I don't think that's true. If people are taking him seriously then they are more likely to take his advice and people need to know about it in order to call him out on it.

WoW, or any MMO really, has significant maintenance costs due to the complexity and shear scale of the servers workload. CoD on the other hand, dose not. It's just a first Person Shooter. If they let the players run dedicated servers on there own machines then the cost of keeping the multilayer up drops to $0.00. Since people who want to play, will make a server!

Some people might make the "value" argument. That you are getting all these hours of online play and that's worth it. That's the same one people used to make back when DVDs were 3 times the price of a VHS when they cost next to nothing to make and had the same content. It was BS back then and it's BS now.

DugMachine:

Vrach:

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.)

It's not one person making a billion. It's a company and a company can NEVER make too much money. And for all our hate of CoD as a franchise, ActiVision ripping that playerbase off is good for everyone who hates it, because it means more leeway for trying other things.

In theory. In practice, ActiVision will just stick to what gets them the most money and barely ever try anything new, despite well being able to.

Oh I realize it's not just one person that makes a billion. I just find it funny that in this day in age we can say "Oh I just made a billion."

Well no, they can't... they can however say "Oh we just made a billion" :)
I'll take my hat off to the single person who can say he's made a billion alone and it's not enough.

Clearly, people are going to keep buying mopre CoD games if they have to pay even more for multiplayer. If that does end up happening, two things could follow. Either CoD suddenly suffers a massive loss because people don't want to pay extra to play online in an industry where multiplayer shouldn't trump (And didn't, about six years ago) single-player, or (And this one frightens me a lot) it will take. People will follow it. And quickly, more games will do that. To the point where you buy a game for a hundred bucks (NZD), and have to drop another twenty or so every month just to keep playing an open-world, offline RPG with a story limited by how much you pay.

If the latter happened...I'd stop gaming. Well...that, or save up, get a better PC and commit to being a pirate. Because fuck having to spend money more than once on a limited game (Meaning there is only so much to do, irrelevant of how large/long the game is (I.E. Skyrim, Oblivion, Just Cause 2, Minecraft)).

Vrach:

I'll take my hat off to the single person who can say he's made a billion alone and it's not enough.

That's every billionaire ever. They don't just stop wanting more money once they hit that big 1,000,000,000.

I wonder if his crack team of engineers raised their hand during a meeting to say if we start charging for the newest multiplayers what's to stop them from just going back to the previous one and playing it for free?

Erm, isn't this what the constant DLC and frequent very similar sequels are for?

image

Oh well, I guess Pachter will just have to tighten his belt and settle for the billion dollars he made. Who knows, perhaps he could make every gun in the game paid DLC. Or better yet, the next Call of Duty game could make you insert coins to continue playing after every death just like in the old days of the arcade machines. Just some ideas. I don't play COD so I don't care what they do.

I guarantee more than half of the people buying COD will no longer be purchasing a pay to play online subscription model. Not to mention more than half of those individuals will stop paying a month in. So in the end the following COD game will probably barely cover production costs, and I guess that would be alright with me (Screw you Activision).

And how much of Call of Duty's popularity stem from the very fact that it's got free multiplayer?

If a subscription was introduced, there are other FPS series consumers could migrate to (Battlefield 3), or it'd open up room for a new one to take the throne. That WoW players were from the start willing to pay $180 a year doesn't in the least guarantee that CoD players are suddenly willing to do the same.

CoD is a successful business model, it just isn't as successful as other business models it can't magically be turned into. Not now, and probably not from the start either.

Atmos Duality:

Pachter:
I think the first thing Activision buys is Take-Two, because that fits in very nicely.

Good fucking God I hope not. I really hope not.
Take-Two is about the only AAA Publisher who hasn't pissed me off to the point where I stopped buying their products on principle alone. On average, their games feel a bit less generic than normal, and I actually have...FUN playing them.

I shouldn't act too surprised. Every other excellent AAA developer and publisher has gone down the shitter in the last decade, only to be muscled out by douchebags in suits peddling the most generic pigshit year after year.

If that actually happens I would be wondering about the ripple effects it would cause. How competitors would react to the market shares changing and so forth.

Disregarding that though, what are the actual chances of Activision buying Take-Two?

Atmos Duality:

Pachter:
"I think Nintendo becomes completely irrelevant," Pachter claimed. "They have their niche, Nintendo's first-party content is great content, and hardcore people will keep buying their consoles, but they're not going to only play with Nintendo consoles."

*glares angrily at 3DS*
Tell me about it.

Outside of Japan, Big N's systems have first-party titles and close to nothing else (maybe a port of a Capcom game or two, but unless you're addicted to Resident Evil and Street Fighter, that doesn't mean much anymore).
Their whole game market and strategy is shitbiscuits.

Have you given Heroes of Ruin a shake? Or checked out some of the minor titles at the eShop?

Do note, I am not disagreeing with your assessment.

CAPTCHA: that's it

Being text-based, captcha is making it quite difficult to determine whenether it is tossing in the towel or if it just finished something.

Oh, Michael 'The PS3 is stronger than any PC' Pachter said something huh?

Well gee golly batman, better pay rapt attention, that man has never said ANYTHING fucking retarded ever before amirite?

Seriously, when is that man gonna return his brain? It's clearly defective and he should be entitled to a refund.

Whenever Pachter says something, the best possible reaction is always a roll of the eyes and a "Sure Michael, whatever you say."

Hjalmar Fryklund:

If that actually happens I would be wondering about the ripple effects it would cause. How competitors would react to the market shares changing and so forth.

Disregarding that though, what are the actual chances of Activision buying Take-Two?

I don't know, but I do know that Activision is riding high right now, and are in the most stable position.
That normally translates into the first stage of consolidation.

It would not surprise me to see them make a move towards acquiring Take-Two's properties so they can bury them, as they have done with others (like most of Sierra's old properties).

Have you given Heroes of Ruin a shake? Or checked out some of the minor titles at the eShop?

Actually, yeah. I do regularly check out the eShop.
Most of the stuff there is overpriced classics, or iffy, but I do own a couple of titles outside of my Ambassador games.
It's actually quite sad that I use most of the ambassador games far far more often than any actual 3DS title.

As for Heroes of Ruin, I will look into it later.

CAPTCHA: that's it

Being text-based, captcha is making it quite difficult to determine whenether it is tossing in the towel or if it just finished something.

I keep getting ad-spam for some shingles website and Dish, and nothing else.
Sufficed to say, I am never going to do business with either.

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 The Escapist and it's Andy, they do this from time to time.

OT: Meh, Activision buying Take 2? Now there is a fucking terrifying thought!

Atmos Duality:

Hjalmar Fryklund:

If that actually happens I would be wondering about the ripple effects it would cause. How competitors would react to the market shares changing and so forth.

Disregarding that though, what are the actual chances of Activision buying Take-Two?

I don't know, but I do know that Activision is riding high right now, and are in the most stable position.
That normally translates into the first stage of consolidation.

It would not surprise me to see them make a move towards acquiring Take-Two's properties so they can bury them, as they have done with others (like most of Sierra's old properties).

Then the question for me becomes: If Activision actually takes a stab at doing so, would the other major players in the western video games market attempt a counter-move in order to try to prevent Activision from potentially gaining too high a market share?

Have you given Heroes of Ruin a shake? Or checked out some of the minor titles at the eShop?

Actually, yeah. I do regularly check out the eShop.
Most of the stuff there is overpriced classics, or iffy, but I do own a couple of titles outside of my Ambassador games.
It's actually quite sad that I use most of the ambassador games far far more often than any actual 3DS title.

As for Heroes of Ruin, I will look into it later.

Personally, I have bought Dillion´s Rolling Western (which had a surprising amount of content) and Hana Samurai (kinda blah). I am planning on checking out two other titles (when I am finished with RE: Revelations and the fourth Layton), one mission-based shooter and one wonky western game (sorry, their names escape me, I'm afraid).

As for the 3DS line-up, yeah, it ain't very impressive at the moment. I am mostly playing regular DS games on it. Not that it bothers me that much, there are a lot strange (and frequently unique) titles to chug through.

CAPTCHA: that's it

Being text-based, captcha is making it quite difficult to determine whenether it is tossing in the towel or if it just finished something.

I keep getting ad-spam for some shingles website and Dish, and nothing else.
Sufficed to say, I am never going to do business with either.

Sounds like something is bugged up. If you find it really annoying I would suggest taking it up with the tech team.

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Then the question for me becomes: If Activision actually takes a stab at doing so, would the other major players in the western video games market attempt a counter-move in order to try to prevent Activision from potentially gaining too high a market share?

Realistically, the other publishers may attempt to make counter-offers on Take-Two's property, and depending on the intentions of the Take-Two execs, that could get really messy, really fast.
At this stage, I have to include the possibility of an anti-trust suit, since realistically, it'd be down to Zenimax, EA, Ubisoft, and Activision.

And Zenimax isn't THAT big compared to the others.

Personally, I have bought Dillion´s Rolling Western (which had a surprising amount of content) and Hana Samurai (kinda blah). I am planning on checking out two other titles (when I am finished with RE: Revelations and the fourth Layton), one mission-based shooter and one wonky western game (sorry, their names escape me, I'm afraid).

As for the 3DS line-up, yeah, it ain't very impressive at the moment. I am mostly playing regular DS games on it. Not that it bothers me that much, there are a lot strange (and frequently unique) titles to chug through.

I saw Dillion's, saw the price, then kind of waffled on the decision before saying 'no'.
I might nab it to justify my 3DS's existence this Christmas, because the slew of MOAR MARIO sure as hell isn't doing that.

What bugs me, is that Nintendo has a lot of stuff on the Wii's Virtual Console that they could port to the 3DS, yet they aren't. I'm guessing it's for technical reasons, but I could be wrong. (Nintendo still refuses to translate and sell the Mother series on VC, even though fans have been doing translations for FREE for years now.)

At this stage, I expect them to be able to emulate SNES titles, and not just the varieties of Gameboy and NES stuff.
I mean, jeez. We had working SNES emulators on the DREAMCAST a decade ago.

Sounds like something is bugged up. If you find it really annoying I would suggest taking it up with the tech team.

Eh. It's Ad-Captchas. I figured it was just the needs of the website outweighing my petty complaints.
Though I will mock the captcha system at every turn when it pulls this crap, because it betrays EXACTLY the reason they claimed to have implemented it in the first place.

Because it would have been even remotely as successful if they'd charged a monthly fee.

Seriously, the day people start charing fees for PVP as industry standard is the day I take an anthrax laced machete to these fuckers.

I'll say it now- I am not happy with this guy.

I'm really not in a good situation to be paying monthly for multiplayer subscriptions, let alone afford anything else. When I get a game, I feel unless it's constantly changing and expanding .. it should be just charged to purchase and nothing more. DLC's already cost a bit, plus owning an Xbox 360 I am charged for having online access $60 a year. If my games started to have subscription fees for who knows why, then I wouldn't bother playing anymore despite that I would be utterly sad since I wouldn't be able to play the anticipated game of the year.

Oh and it would also be rather silly because why would Activision need us to pay monthly to play COD? The maps are small, nothing is expanding and the servers run without any new modifications. They would just charge us because we're playing a game therefore multiplayer = fees to pay if singleplayer isn't enough? That very thing is greed in itself, I do not support such tactics in gaming business.

Atmos Duality:
Realistically, the other publishers may attempt to make counter-offers on Take-Two's property, and depending on the intentions of the Take-Two execs, that could get really messy, really fast.
At this stage, I have to include the possibility of an anti-trust suit, since realistically, it'd be down to Zenimax, EA, Ubisoft, and Activision.

And Zenimax isn't THAT big compared to the others.

Probably something along those lines, I suppose. My guess is that if one or several of the big names (besides Activision that is) want to make a deal with Take-Two they will do so individually, but if Activision moves in and buys Take-Two and an anti-trust suit is held (sorry if this isn't the correct verb, real late over here) then I would also guess that the other big guys on the block will pool their resources on the anti-trust suit.

I saw Dillion's, saw the price, then kind of waffled on the decision before saying 'no'.
I might nab it to justify my 3DS's existence this Christmas, because the slew of MOAR MARIO sure as hell isn't doing that.

What bugs me, is that Nintendo has a lot of stuff on the Wii's Virtual Console that they could port to the 3DS, yet they aren't. I'm guessing it's for technical reasons, but I could be wrong. (Nintendo still refuses to translate and sell the Mother series on VC, even though fans have been doing translations for FREE for years now.)

At this stage, I expect them to be able to emulate SNES titles, and not just the varieties of Gameboy and NES stuff.
I mean, jeez. We had working SNES emulators on the DREAMCAST a decade ago.

It might have something to do with the Wii U launch. Their management is likely to be busy with licensing deals with developers in order for them to get a decent line-up for their new console.

Regarding SNES games on the 3DS, oh yes, that would be real sweet. To say the least, it would be a good market to tap into; I could even see a good deal of new 3DSs sold because of it (and if I could get the older installments of the Mana series on the 3DS, I would be a very happy seal).

Honestly, I kinda surprised (and not in a good way) that I haven't even thought about this before.

Seriously, all this guy ever spouts are things that people have already predicted will happen through use of their own common fucking sense.

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Probably something along those lines, I suppose. My guess is that if one or several of the big names (besides Activision that is) want to make a deal with Take-Two they will do so individually, but if Activision moves in and buys Take-Two and an anti-trust suit is held (sorry if this isn't the correct verb, real late over here) then I would also guess that the other big guys on the block will pool their resources on the anti-trust suit.

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.

It might have something to do with the Wii U launch. Their management is likely to be busy with licensing deals with developers in order for them to get a decent line-up for their new console.

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.

Regarding SNES games on the 3DS, oh yes, that would be real sweet. To say the least, it would be a good market to tap into; I could even see a good deal of new 3DSs sold because of it (and if I could get the older installments of the Mana series on the 3DS, I would be very happy seal).

Honestly, I kinda surprised (and not in a good way) that I haven't even thought about this before.

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.

The guy seems to fail at basic understanding of how gamers, and I suppose games themselves, seem to work. If the next Call of Duty game suddenly featured Subscription-based service, a lot of players would either go back to a previous title which didn't have this, or play exclusively local multiplayer. Well, that or just take it back/not buy it.

His mentality by using World of Warcraft shows he hasn't thought this out. WoW does not release a new version of the game every year or two. It has expansions, but that adds onto the core game. The only way Call of Duty and other multiplayer titles could make this work is if they never released another game, but with the industry and greedy and copy-paste happy as it is, that's very unlikely to happen either.

Making a new game every so often is how these types of games make their money.

Okay, he may be completely wrong, but am I the only one who's excited by the prospect of there being ONE businessman who has at least a basic comprehension of how video games as a business model work?

P.S. can someone kindly tell me how to do a strikethrough?

Yes! How DARE a market analyst point out a flaw in another company's marketing!

Guys seriously, it's his job to make money off of gamers. Yes, they made a billion dollars, but just because he pointed out they could have made more doesn't make him an evil Scrooge McDuck. Now, "failure" might be a bit of a stretch.

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