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Coffee Talk #462: What’s the Frequency, Pachter?


Posted on March 16th, by raymond padilla in Coffee Talk, PC Gaming, Today's Specials, Videogames. 15 comments

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Verve’s Costa Rica Don Mayo, which NBA team made the best deadline trade, or throwing rocks at people waiting in line for the new iPad, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

The other day an old colleague posted a very angry tweet about Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. I was actually surprised by his anger. My friend has worked in videogames for quite some time, with staff positions at G4 and IGN. It’s one thing for people that read videogame-enthusiast publications to get upset about Pachter, but it surprises me when people inside the business give him heat about some of the things he says.

Before I explain all that, keep in mind that I like Michael a lot. He’s cool and fun and smart. He might be the highest-paid person I know that can talk to (a scrub like) me about videogames, WWE, and gaming United Airlines frequent flyer program. I completely admit my bias and will gladly defend Pachter’s honor.

Angry Pachter Tweet Coffee Talk #462: Whats the Frequency, Pachter?

Having said that, I totally understand why readers and viewers get mad at him. Some of his predictions are flat-out wrong. Some of the things he says are outlandish. He likes to talk to the press…a lot. Sometimes I get the impression that he enjoys stirring the pot just to see the reactions he’ll get. He’s the most quoted financial analyst that covers games. If you’re judging him based off of his quotes, then yeah, I can see why you’d have heat with him.

However, if you thought about his actual job was and what he actually gets paid to do then you wouldn’t take the Michael Pachter “persona” so seriously.  Just take a peak at the Wedbush corporate site. I don’t see a section that says, “We specialize in riling up fanboys by making bold and sometimes completely wrong predictions to the press.” He’s an analyst! He crunches numbers, sifts through data, writes investor advice, and makes decisions that affect a lot of money. (Yes, I totally simplified his job for the sake of brevity.)

Personally, I find it amusing that so many readers and viewers “hate” Pachter. I’m sure he finds it funny too. When someone with my colleague’s experience has an issue with him, it’s surprising. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe a lot of people inside and outside of the business think that quoted Pachter and working Pachter are the same guy. *shrug*

I’m sure you’ve read a lot of Michael Pachter quotes over the years. I know that a few of you follow him on Twitter. Out of curiosity, what do you think of him and the things he says?





  • Smartguy

    I like him even when his thoughts side with stifling innovation. I couldn't not like the guy and felt honored to receive a few private messages on Twitter from him.

  • lceman

    I think you summed up his job quite nicely. I think the hate stems from two sources: 1) Unwarranted media attention and 2) Credibility (I guess you can throw jealously in there as a third source, but I believe that is a symptom of one of the first two).

    I'm sure that there are a lot of gamers and journalist and gaming journalists out there that have a better understanding of the gaming industry that can predict what will happen more accurately than Pachter (with or without all that fancy number-crunching). The thing is that these people don't have some luxurious, high-paying job at Wedbush or some other hot-shot, Wall Street company. So the media (being the media) pay more attention to someone that gets paid the big bucks regardless of his track record. I could start my own blog and more accurately predict the outcome of events in the video game industry 7 out of 10 times (much better rate than Pachter), but no one will give me the time of day on TV because I'm a "nobody." This will instill feelings of resentment in people.

    Second, I don't think that any attention should be paid to analysts that constantly get things wrong. At the very least, they should have a better track record than getting things right only half the time.

    That said, I don't have anything against the guy. I know he's just trying to feed his family like everybody else. But much like people who choose to run their mouths off; you can either choose to listen to him or not.

    -M

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      See, I wouldn't say that Michael runs his mouth off. It was pointed out to me that he never seeks the media actively. He replies to the numerous requests he gets. It's fun that some game journalists complain about him, but they're the same ones asking him for quotes.

  • Gege

    I like him a lot, he has his own understanding of the market, and as he says, he might be right or wrong, but that's not the point of his job. He's there to tell ppl if they should throw money in something or not…I guess no one even cares in the business if he's right. Those are just numbers and numbers CAN be wrong. Go to your Wal-Mart and search for 1+1=3 :D
    Anyway, he might not know as much as some people, still those with the money ask him.

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    Hello from my new iPad. Text looks completely awesome on this thing!

    • lceman

      So… (now that you're on the subject) can somebody tell me why they didn't call it the "iPad 3?" What will the next iteration of the iPad be known as? The "Newer iPad?"

      -M

      • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

        The naming actually makes sense to me. Outside of the iPad and iPhone, what other Apple products are numbered? You don't see the MacBook Pro 14 and the iMac 9. Even the closely related iPod Touch line isn't numbered. I refer to it as the iPad 2012, similar to how my laptop is the MacBook Pro late 2011.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

          I accept the challenge… OSX, iOS, and Final Cut.

          • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

            Hardware, not software.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

              Yeah, well… you didn't specify.

              The only one I can think of is the legendary Apple II.

              • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                Right, and that was how long ago? I'm actually surprised that a lot of people are annoyed at it not being called the iPad 3. Who cares?!?

                • http://www.horizonpacificvacations.com/ Horizon Pacific Vacations

                  Maybe someone is just upset because they bought the older version. :) They need the numbers to make sure they are getting all the latest and greatest from Apple…that is until next month they have a new one come out…

  • tanto

    1) He is never right

    2) he is always wrong

    3) He never admits when he is wrong, especially about nintendo which had the number 1 system of 2011 (3ds)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      In all fairness, his job isn't to be right or wrong, it's to calculate odds more than anything else. Believing that somebody can predict the future of anything is downright silly.

      Investing in things is a gamble. Gambling, is based on odds. Every casino game is a game where the odds are in the house's favor. You're not going to see a free throw game or any other skill based game in a casino for this reason.

      The house knows their games are in their favor, because somebody sat down, crunched the numbers, and gave them not totally accurate (because nobody can predict the future) but close to accurate odds. They then decided on whether or not they would feature these games.

      Pachter is basically ONE guy who figures out the odds for the video game industry. There are other people who do it, but Pachter is ONE leader in the field. Simply put, people who invest in these companies usually go through a stockbroker. When the stockbroker is clueless as to what to tell his clients, he calls a guy like Pachter to see what odds he came up with on whether or not it's a smart investment. The stockbroker than decides whether or not to "feature that game at his casino" so to say or non-metaphorically, tell his client to invest or not.

      So, as a gamer, he's really not for us. He's for investors. The people we pay in the long, long run. We gripe about his predictions because we are emotionally involved with the products involved. Rest assured that no matter what he says, people will invest in Nintendo for many, many years to come.

      And… please stop believing that it's possible to predict the future. You're only gonna hurt yourself there.

      • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

        Splendid comment Nate!