Analyst Michael Pachter Praises Activision For Its Sequels, Rips EA For Risks


Posted February 6, 2009 - By r_pad

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter is arguably the most respected and influential analyst in the video-game business. While I respect him, he sometimes says things that piss me off. In a recent Gamaustra article, Pachter praises Activision's sequel-churning approach and dumps on EA for taking too many risks with new franchises. I believe that he's being shortsighted and reinforcing a negative message (that I complained about in December). Regarding Activision, Pachter said:

"The companies doing the best are the ones who have stuck to what they know how to do. Activision does two things: packaged goods and MMO, and it merged with the MMO."

Certainly ,Activision had a great year. However, I believe that its CEO, Bobby Kotick (pictured above)is getting far too much credit for that company's success in 2008. Few people believed last year that the economy would get as bad as it did. The company's conservative approach was the easiest path to success in an economic downturn, but I also believe it was just luck. Activision's sequel-friendly approach was in motion well before the economy hit the toilet.

Now check out Pachter's view on EA:

"EA probably spent more on Spore than it was worth, and put a lot of resources into Mirror's Edge and Dead Space with only modest results. EA is doing it again with Saboteur, Dragon Age, Dante's Inferno, Tennis, Mass Effect 2 and EA Sports Active. Few companies perform well when they are focused on so many new games. We haven't seen Activision introduce that many new brands over the last few years."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: new franchises are long-term investments. I'm confident that EA's new franchises will pay off in the long run. It irks me that Pachter is criticizing EA for introducing new and innovative series while praising Activision's "Sequel Hut" approach. It discourages publishers and developers from trying new things and encourages them to stick to the same old...stuff.

Yes, I realize that Pachter is solely concerned with the financial performance of video-game companies, but his words often lack context and don't consider long-term strategies. Comments like his are bad for the advancement of the gaming industry. I want to kick him -- Randy Orton style.

Tags: Videogames
Analyst Michael Pachter Praises Activision For Its Sequels, Rips EA For Risks


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