SpeSkullations #14 – Michael Pachter… enough said

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What else hasn’t been said about Michael Pachter? Controversial analyst with a JD, an L.L. M. and an MBA, he is very well known in the gaming industry for his strong opinions, he really knows what he is doing and if you think not, keep reading because there’s something for you.

I had the chance to interview him about Nintendo and its strategy, from a marketing perspective, since THAT is what he really does.

1) Have you had the chance to see the Nintendo Direct? What do you think about it?

“Nintendo Direct is a fine way to announce games and show game footage, and I think consumers really like to see Iwata and Miyamoto present new products.  I think it is virtually worthless as a tool for investors, so I don’t typically watch them in real time.”

2) From a marketing perspective do you think is a safe decision to release the New Nintendo 3DS along with two big titles like Majora’s Mask and Monster Hunter in the same day? Isn’t it going to saturate the market with all the limited content?

“I don’t think that Nintendo can make a mistake by launching hardware with great software.  If anything, they should always support hardware launches with new software the same day.”


3) What do you think about the decision to release only the XL version of the New 3DS in the US market? Behind this decision there is a supply chain problem regarding the number of console they can provide, or the US market is really only interested in the XL version of the console?

“I don’t understand the decision to release XL only in U.S.  I don’t believe it is a supply issue, and I don’t know whether Americans care about XL vs. regular sized, but Nintendo has a pretty good marketing arm in the U.S., and they probably have a basis for their decision.”

4) Mr. Iwata said he was going to open Nintendo’s view on the market, with merchandise and experiments with their IPs, after seeing the amiibos’ success and the use of skins, costumes in many projects, do you think Nintendo is finally using their powerful mascottes?

“Nintendo has great IP, and is making the right decision to pursue licensing opportunities.  I think that they can do much more than they have done in the past, including branching into pajamas and costumes.  I think that we will see a lot more going forward, and it will both improve their financial position and strengthen their brands.”


5) Games like Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition can represent a good move by Nintendo? Don’t you think Nintendo is late on the “mobile” type of content?

“Nintendo is really late on the mobile games business, and they should do as many deals with big brands like Puzzles & Dragons as they can.”

6) What happened in the Wii era with the Wii HD?

“The Wii U is the Wii HD, but it came out two years too late to help them.  The inclusion of the Game Pad was a mistake, as it is not intuitive for consumers, and doesn’t add much to the gaming experience.  They would have been smarter to upgrade the box to HD and keep the old Wiimote controllers.”


7) Sometimes happens to know something about future games/projects but you can’t talk about that, sometimes happens to have the chance to unveil what you know it’s in the works but week after week behind the scenes everything can change, so: how difficult it is to build your credibility in the industry?

“Funny question about credibility.  I only have two groups of people that I must address:  Companies and investors.  As long as both respect my work, I will do fine.  No investor cares if I say that a game will win game of the year, and no company cares if I talk about one of their competitors.  The only thing any investor cares about is whether my earnings estimates are close to the mark (and they are), and the only thing any company SHOULD care about is whether investors listen to me (and they do).  I don’t care if 13 year-old boys in Italy think I know what I’m doing, and you can tell them I said “fatti gli affari tuoi”.”

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