Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Michael Pachter Says Call of Duty is a Failure

image

Industry analyst Michael Pachter makes a pretty convincing argument that the Call of Duty franchise isn't as solid as it appears.

Michael Pachter says a lot of things, and he sometimes takes a lot of heat for it. He'll probably take more in the wake of his opening address at the Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco where, as is his wont, he made some bold statements about the "failure" of Activision's behemoth Call of Duty franchise.

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."

You didn't think of it that way, did you? Bear in mind that while this may not sound like the most audience-friendly approach, Pachter isn't speaking to you but to people whose business is to figure out how to make money from games. And he has some interesting thoughts about that too.

"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.

Source: GamesIndustry

Permalink

They still made a billion dollars.

This guys knows how to rip people off handle money. We need more greedy bastards in the world clearly.

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).

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.)

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?

Activision will buy Take-Two?

*Shivers*

Don't scare us with your nightmares!

What a world we would live in, when making a billion dollars is concidered a failure. I don't care about CoD or Black Ops as much as the next sane person, but one cannot help and look at this and say " Damn, they made a lot of money from this game, they must be doing something right". And the whole making a FPS multiplayr an extra payment, thats just stupid. The single player campgan in most of these games are laughable at best, and the majority of people probably never play it, or play it once and forget the plot completely later on.

BTW, guy is a dipshit even on that matter. Did he ever hear of multiplayer map packs? They are currently going for 50 bucks for a season pass, so thats roughly $110 dollars a year per person if they choose to buy them. How come I can't have this guys job, I'd love to bull shit all day and make money for it.

Call of Duty remains strong in local multiplayer, as well, being the college-dorm favorite that it is. I am not really saying that as an insult, just a counter-point to what Mr. Patcher said. I think that it would be silly to expect the same sales on the next CoD game, but that will be due to a combination of free-online multiplayer and market saturation with FPS games.

Anyway, as much as I do not like CoD games, I cannot really agree with Mr. Patcher on this, most of what he said was either baseless or under-informed.

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 that's what journalism does.

i defiantly see this guy's point of view. CoD probably could make more money, but do they need too? Large companies love tradition, i don't think they're going to change their model now, especially since it's making them super filthy rich.

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.

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).

I actually think that's what he was saying.

The thing with COD is that it's essentially a casual game. People buy the yearly offerings, play them incessantly, and then play practically nothing else. I know several people who are not 'gamers' in any way or form, but buy the annual COD to play online. It's become an e-sport.

COD has essentially become a casual title. The vast majority of people who play it don't play other games, or at least, 'core' games. It's a casual title dressed up in military clothing. And in that sense, it is a failure. It is one of the most successful franchises out there, and yet it is completely failing to get people interested in other games. Really successful games don't just win new fans, they convert people into gamers, and get them interested in trying to find other games worth playing. COD doesn't do that. It's appeal is in the multiplayer, and as soon as COD fans are done with it, they go back to playing Angry Birds or Cut The Rope.

deathzero021:
because that's what journalism does.

Look at the source, he flat out says -

"Call of Duty, I'm calling it a failure."

Triforceformer:
They still made a billion dollars.

The fiends!

I'm still not inclined to believe anything this man says, regardless of whether or not he's going after a game I dislike.

I wish I could have a job that consisted of nothing but speculating on what might happen....

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

image

Industry analyst Michael Pachter makes a pretty convincing argument that the Call of Duty franchise isn't as solid as it appears.

Michael Pachter says a lot of things, and he sometimes takes a lot of heat for it. He'll probably take more in the wake of his opening address at the Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco where, as is his wont, he made some bold statements about the "failure" of Activision's behemoth Call of Duty franchise.

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."

You didn't think of it that way, did you? Bear in mind that while this may not sound like the most audience-friendly approach, Pachter isn't speaking to you but to people whose business is to figure out how to make money from games. And he has some interesting thoughts about that too.

"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.

Source: GamesIndustry

Permalink

Why do you keep posting about this guy again? What exactly has he done in recent years? Analysts make shit up.

Triforceformer:
They still made a billion dollars.

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?

Slycne:

deathzero021:
because that's what journalism does.

Look at the source, he flat out says -

"Call of Duty, I'm calling it a failure."

Damn Journalists, with your facts and sources, All lies I tell you!

OT: I get what Pachter is getting at, but trends like WoW are dieing off and the only FPS where someone charged for Multilayer was Planetside, and even they said screw that and made number 2 an F2P. I see the point, but not the real facts hes pulling this from.

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

To be fair, that sounds a lot like what Kotick wanted when he was head (is he still head or did he step down? I can't remember, I can't feel the flames of hate towards him anymore though). Both are just shrewd businessmen. What he says sounds horrible to me but what he says is probably one of the best ways to make money.

So, it earned a billion dollars, but could have earned more with shady business practices? Is considered a failure?

......I think my brain just asploded

ITT: Pachter says Pachter things.

Really, though, this isn't a surprise. It's the Christmas season - he usually posts one or two inflammatory statements every year around this time.

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?

"Call of Duty, I'm calling it a failure," said Pachter.

That would be why.

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.

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.

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

Activision has made Elite a free service again and gone back to offering DLC a la carte. It didn't take off because, as Pachter pointed out, Activision has conditioned its audience to expect free online play. That's going to be tough to overcome.

Interesting viewpoint, sir. Not a bad observation, but I think a lot of it has to do with model of game type.

Because clearly, a billion dollars is paltry. Frankly, it would be bad news to start having subscription fees at this point. I predict lots of bitching and whining followed by scores of people leaving. Pull that kind of shit and next time they release a CoD game with monthly subscription fees, they might only make 200 million.

1. Call of Duty has to compete against an existing standard of freely available server software. Free online is how they prevent users from jumping ship to games like Counter-Strike and even older CoD games that allow users to run their own dedicated servers. MMORPGs typically don't have this problem.

2. He's comparing gross per unit. This is all kinds of stupid. What really matters is net, which factors in things like cost of production and operation (and I'd bet CoD is cheaper to keep running than WoW), as well as number of units/subscriptions sold. CoD could charge six thousand dollars a month, and by his logic they'd be coming out ahead regardless of the obvious loss of their entire userbase.

3. "This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake [...] because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games." What? How did you come to this conclusion? If anything, free multiplayer frees up money so that consumers CAN buy and play other games. I can pretty much guarantee that people spending $15/month on World of Warcraft aren't in any hurry to buy other games, because they have a psychological need to play WoW and get their money's worth.

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

P.S. Thanks

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.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

I'll call Call Of Duty a lot of things, but "Failure" is not one of them. It's a decent game series that's made a better-than-decent profit. Hacking off features and charging for them is a good way to alienate your fanbase, established or budding.

And it's not so much a series has been "Training" its' players a certain way that what it had attracted them in the first place. You really think COD would be as popular as it is today if they put a pay gate up as a barrier of entry? People play nothing but COD because it's popular and fun. Tons of games are fun. COD is what's popular. People attract people, and there wouldn't be people in the first place with subscription fees beyond some dedicated FPS gamers. The "Current popular game in the public conscious" would go to something else.

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.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The thing with COD is that it's essentially a casual game. People buy the yearly offerings, play them incessantly, and then play practically nothing else. I know several people who are not 'gamers' in any way or form, but buy the annual COD to play online. It's become an e-sport.

COD has essentially become a casual title. The vast majority of people who play it don't play other games, or at least, 'core' games. It's a casual title dressed up in military clothing. And in that sense, it is a failure. It is one of the most successful franchises out there, and yet it is completely failing to get people interested in other games. Really successful games don't just win new fans, they convert people into gamers, and get them interested in trying to find other games worth playing. COD doesn't do that. It's appeal is in the multiplayer, and as soon as COD fans are done with it, they go back to playing Angry Birds or Cut The Rope.

There are several things wrong with your post.

First, an E-sport title is a game that is played professionally, not a game that people pay to play online. It may be played professionally sometimes, however it's not that big on the E-sports scene.

Next, a casual gamer is someone who simply plays casual games as a small pass time, such as minesweeper or solitaire. While some casual gamers may play Call of Duty, the primary audience are teen boys and young adults aged 12-30, who play it in the same fashion as any regular game. It's the same with any simple online game. Is League of Legends a casual game because a few people who aren't avid gamers play it?

Not to mention your evidence for your opinion is quite silly. You're essentially saying "I know a lot of people who aren't core gamers who play Call of Duty, therefor, most people who play Call of Duty are casual gamers".

Also, he's saying that the game is a failure because it's comparable to World of Warcraft. He says that people spend $180 a year on WoW but only $60 on CoD. What he's trying to convey is that if CoD had a different pay to play model, it could make three times as much money. His statement had nothing to do with casual gamers or core gamers.

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).

No doubt you'll reply to me, split my post into several smaller posts and then address each sentence individually, because the idea of someone having different views to you is absurd (you've done it every single time I've disagreed with you), but some of your points do look to be simply flawed.

"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.

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. -.-

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.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here