Quote of the Day – In Which 25 Million Equals Nothing

25 million people play Call of Duty monthly, but that pales in comparison to 2.5 billion people on the Internet. That’s 1 percent of the Internet, that’s nothing.

Michael Pachter, at Cloud Gaming USA

That is one of those quotes that boggles the mind as it lets so much slip by, to the point of being meaningless.  What percentage of that 2.5 billion plays video games, has hardware capable of playing something like Call of Duty, has an internet connection capable of playing the game, can afford the game, and can actually buy the game in their local market?  What should Activision have done differently?  What should their target audience have been?

And the irony here is that just a few paragraphs down the line he takes gaming companies to task for embracing the free to play model, which is all about increasing market penetration. Free-to-play should go away he says (and I have some bad news for him about his ad revenue idea) and the game companies are stupid for taking less than they should get.  And then further along he projecting 4 billion people playing games in the very near future.  Will they be on the internet?  How does it relate to that 2.5 billion number?  It is a mishmash, though that could be as much the reporting as the presentation itself.

Of course, Michael Pachter is an analyst, and the analyst’s bread and butter is in making outlandish, unsupported, attention getting statements like that.  All the better to get you to pay them for their deep insight.  You don’t get speaking gigs by being dull.  As Apple’s iPhone announcement today was nothing but an ad for Apple, this presentation was mostly an ad for Michael Pachter, and nobody should have expected otherwise.

Not that he is completely off base on things.  He frets about the future of consoles in the face of dropping physical game sales and the expanding smart phone market as well as where Nintendo will end up.

He really focuses on Nintendo.

But even I can see that Nintendo is especially vulnerable as its corporate culture is still tied up with the idea of them being a hardware company, while their real assets are in their software.  I like my Nintendo 3DS XL very much.  It is a fine piece of hardware.  But I bought it solely to play Pokemon.

Without Pokemon the 3DS XL is just like the Wii U, an interesting piece of hardware I don’t really need in a world where the iPhone and other such devices loom.  Nintendo’s goals may be in line with Corless, the Team Plasma Boss from Pokemon Black 2 & White 2.

Can't stay proprietary with that goal...

Can’t stay proprietary with that goal…

But they are not going to get there with the mindset of the 90s, where the software was there to sell hardware.

Anyway, the article that the quote came from at the top of the post has enough fodder for a dozen blog posts.  I can’t even get started on how much it irks when somebody stands up and speaks of “the cloud” that will solve all problems.  Put something in the mythical “cloud” and be prepared to do without it unless you control it.  Or, put another way:

But like Oscar the Grouch, I am often happiest railing against something like this.  Pachter is many things, but he isn’t boring.  I look forward to many more pronouncements.

3 thoughts on “Quote of the Day – In Which 25 Million Equals Nothing

  1. NetherLands

    Interesting piece,, and should indeed be fodder for many posts ;)

    Not being a parent myself (though caretaker) I might be seeing this wrong, but personally I think I’d be much more comfortable with my kid playing on a console of some sorts than being connected to the web all the time, as the console at least gives some illusion of being somewhat in control of whom my kid would interact with.

    Then again, I might very well be hopelessly naive and a bit of a Luddite. For example I think that the information super highway would have been better off with at least some of the (age) requirements of the ‘normal’ highway, as it would help with at least some of the icky situations that can arise [*quotes Smed on kids and online gaming*] and don’t even carry a cell-phone myself.


  2. SynCaine

    This guy is the SuperData of gaming analysts.

    Both are trolls, but you can’t help but respect that both get enough fish on their hooks to make a living. Modern day carnies.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @NetherLands – As a parent, I would generally agree, although some console games are coming with with voice coms built-in, which can lead to a disturbing flow of commentary coming from your sound system. But at least you aren’t really connected to that person. Steam is a much more worrisome vector in my personal experience.

    @SynCaine – And Pachter has kept the ball rolling for years. He will come out with some solid, nuts and bolts stuff at times, complete with supporting data. But when he speaks, he likes to attract attention. It is his job.


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