Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Case For Michael Pachter: We Love You

Not too often we get someone who’s not afraid to speak his mind on the touchy subjects of the day in any arena. People mostly shy away from saying controversial things, even if true, to avoid the chastisement that usually follows.

In this case it’s the gaming industry. No one would dare go up against Sony and talk extremely harsh about its products, especially PSPgo, but one man did. Nobody would even think of contesting Epic Games and the deal they have with Microsoft to even go as far as saying the developers regretted it, but one man did.

Yes indeed, others would be afraid of being punished, cast aside and neglected, but not this man; he’s basically gone up against every major developer, publisher and console manufacture saying things that most would die before blurting.

Michael Pachter does not seems to care. Something comes to his mind that makes sense (and on occasions don’t), and he lets it out not thinking of the consequences that follows.

Rockstar decided not to send him games anymore after his said one of their titles, Bully, would flop. Sony called him up and scold him when he trashed the PSPgo, (he later apologized). The list is long but you get the picture.

Michael Pachter is the renowned industry analyst everybody loves to hate. But hate or love him, he knows a lot of what’s happening in the gaming industry. Most of the man’s clients are billionaires who come to him seeking advice on where to invest their cash; he’s no “novice” and we all should respect him for that.

Here’s the man in his own words:

“My job is primarily to advise investors, and by investors I mean big mutual funds and hedge funds. Our smaller accounts maybe have $100m under management and then all the way up obviously to several hundred billion. The average average is easily $1bn. I talk to guys who manage billions of dollars, and my job is to help them make better investment decisions,” he told Eurogamer.

The website went on to ask him more about his schedule, or what his days are like:

“I left at 4pm yesterday, maybe slightly after. I got home at around 5, and after dinner and helping my kids with homework I went upstairs from 6.30 and finished my Dreamworks note and hit the send button to my boss to approve. And then I watched American Idol and went to bed.”

He continued: “I typically work two out of three weekends. And I probably work about three hours on a weekend. All my NPD previews are done on the weekend. I write an industry report every year a couple of hundred pages long and takes me the equivalent of about 200 hours to write.”

“So I stay busy.

And I travel. Probably 60 nights a year I’m gone from home. I probably see an average of about seven clients a day on the 60 days I’m gone. I probably have 400 client visits a year. And out of that, 100 I’ll see more than once. So I see 300 different people a year and I have about 500 people who call me. I talk to a lot of people and we have a lot of people pay us.”

“And obviously I’ve got to go to conferences and things, but fortunately in the videogame world there really aren’t that many meaningful ones. I have to go to E3, but I live in LA. Really I don’t have to go to gamescom in Germany. I went to the Tokyo Games Show once and realised it was a complete waste of my time.

I’ve never been to a PAX. I’m sure it’s fun, but it’s a fan thing. I do go to GDC and San Francisco is an hour flight and very easy for me to do. And I do like that show, but I don’t go to GDC Austin or GDC Europe because you go once and how many geeks can you deal with? I go to the Consumer Electronics Show. Five or six of my 60 nights are going to games shows and the rest are seeing clients.

And then I write a lot; I write a lot of notes and I’m certain that my notes have more content than anybody else that covers this space, which is again how I stay visible to the press.

It’s crazy to me; there’s an old saying, and I’m not sure who said this, that “emulation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And it shocks me that nobody emulates me. It blows me away that there are no analysts that say, “Oh that guy’s in the press all the time, oh he writes a whole lot.” The last industry report I’ve seen from my competitors was 2004.”

He now runs his own show on Game Trailers dubbed Pach-Attack where he takes out time in his busy schedule to answer questions from gamers. He’s a frequent guest on Bonus Round and is friends with many big name developers.

He’s also been interviewed by many websites big and small, and almost never deems himself too great to sit down for it. He’s indeed a good guy with a rude mouth, but it’s the bits and pieces that make him so unique.

So the next time you feel the need to bash Pachter, at least before you do listen to what he has to say, because amidst the noise, there are most times a lot of truth to what he’s uttering, he is an insider you know.

And so I rest my case. Long live the gaming industry, long live its number 1 analyst: Michael Pachter, we love you.

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!