Interview with Michael Pachter

Michael Pachter

If you follow the gaming news, you are probably familiar with comments of Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter - a recognized analyst, who visits frequently in Gametrailers' Bonus Round, among other gaming medias.

KonsoliFIN got in touch with Pachter, who told about his work, life and favorite games. And some advice for forum moderators concerning fanboys. Read more here.

What is a typical working day of Michael Pachter?

I work 4:30 a.m. till around 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at least 3 hours a day on the weekends. During earnings season (four times a year, lasting two weeks), I work until 9 or 10 at night. My job consists of researching game companies, so I gather as much information as I can from a variety of sources (the Internet, publications, industry contacts and channel checks), and I spend most of my day speaking to investors about what I have learned. I write three or four notes each week, and the writing takes me around two hours each day.

Do you bring your work to home often - after all, gaming is home entertainment?

I bring work home every night, but that's the writing, not playing games. I play games primarily on weekends.

What gaming platforms do you currently own and play with - and what games are you currently playing?

I own all platforms, and favor the PS3. I play Wii and 360 exclusives on those platforms, and only play the DS and PSP
infrequently. I play almost no PC games (Spore was an exception). I am currently playing UFC, and will start Red Faction this weekend.

How did you end up being the most recognized video game business analyst? Your previous work & education history?

I am a lawyer by training, have three post graduate degrees, and was an investment banker before being an analyst. My work experience is varied, but I worked in mergers and acquisitions immediately prior. I'm probably recognized because I respond to media requests such as yours, and I'm quotable.

How do you see your field of profession has changed in past ten years?

Our profession has not changed much, we do the same things today we did ten years ago.

What changes and challenges do you expect to see in your line of work as an analyst in next decade?

The biggest challenge is educating investors. My clientele has had to cut costs, so the people I work with are responsible for an
ever-increasing work load (they are expected to know a large number of industries well), which places more pressure on me to help them learn gaming. Because I'm good, there are many demands on my time.

Do you follow gamer sites like NeoGAF actively - if you do, are they helping you at your job?

I read a lot of websites, and love reading NeoGAF. It helps me immensely. There are few breaking stories that don't hit NeoGAF within 30 minutes.

Best and worst bits in your job - excluding being right or wrong?

The worst bit of my job is losing people money. I hate it when my clients are unsuccessful, because it impacts their livelihoods. The
best part of my job is being paid well to do something I love to do.

The most memorable moment in your gaming analyst (or gamer) history?

I suppose the most memorable moment was when I published my first industry report in 2002, and realized that I actually understood the industry.

In KonsoliFIN, we have hefty load of members who are looking gaming industry one-dimensionally (fanboys). How would you tip them to see things more three-dimensionally?

I think we should allow your members to enjoy themselves in whatever dimension they choose. If they want to be fans, we shouldn't
upset their reality.

If Sony and Microsoft suffers from "Wii-nis envy" (a term Pachter created after E3 2009), then what does Nintendo suffer from?

Nintendo is probably making a mistake about online game play, and if not corrected, could ultimately lose some share to the others.

What are your thoughts of Alan Wake (Remedy Entertainment is Finnish dev studio) and do you think that many years of waiting will be worth it?

I'm certainly looking forward to Alan Wake. It will probably perform well, but I think that the long delay has hurt the game's prospects. There was a lot of anticipation for the game in 2005, and it has waned every year since. Max Payne was my favorite game ever, and I am sure that I will enjoy Alan Wake.

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