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:
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:
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.