It's hard to say what famed "gaming analyst" Michael Pachter's predictions are based on, if anything at all. Are they wild predictions designed to feed the trolls and press, or sober analysis based on historical data and informed opinion. Whatever the case may be, when Pachter speaks gamers listen.
But should they? Are his predictions accurate enough that he deserves to be the focus flame wars on the internet? As it turns out, not really.
Pachter seemed to appear out of nowhere in 2006, and began a long list of predictions for games' performance, potential costs, and a laundary list of other speculative details based on seemingly nothing in particular. It's difficult to judge the man based on his more recent predictions, as most are a bit too early to be deemed true or false, but let's examine the man's track record to see if he deserves the attention.
- PREDICTION: Quoted in 2006 Miami Times as saying "Madden NFL '07" "could do 1 million units in 5 days."
OUTCOME: Close, but no cigar. When the game launched in December 2006, all versions of "Madden NFL 07" sold 1.9 million units combined. It's highly doubtful they hit this record within a five day period.
- PREDICTION: In November 2007, Pachter predicted "Guitar Hero III" Guitar Hero III would generate half a billion dollars in the game's first fiscal year.
OUTCOME: Correct, and then some. Game sales during the first 12 months after the game's release were over $750 million.
- PREDICTION: In July 2007, Pachter predicted the Elite version of Xbox 360 would drop from its release price of $479 to $399.
OUTCOME: Again, close. The Elite's price did drop in August 2007, but only to $449. It would hit the $400 mark, but not until around a year after that.
- PREDICTION: March 2008: Pachter predicts "Grand Theft Auto 4" will sell well
OUTCOME: Fair to say he hit the nail on the head with this one, but this prediction's success was as much of a guarantee as gravity.
- PREDICTION: November 2008, Pachter insisted that not only would "Assassin's Creed 2" be set in the 17th Century, and involve the French Revolution, but that Altair would be set to star in the game, somehow transporting a few hundred years forward in time.
OUTCOME: Dead wrong. No sign of France or a revolution in sight, "Assassin's Creed 2" featured an all new protagonist, Ezio Auditore, at the height of the Italian Renaissance.
- PREDICTION: March 2009, Pachter dubs the era of PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 as the "last generation of consoles," saying there will be no new consoles...ever.
OUTCOME: Not even close. Nintendo had already had several meetings about the Wii U the year before, but kept it quiet until officially unveiling it at E3 in 2012. Sony announced the PS4 in February, and it's well known that Microsoft has their own plans for a new console.
- PREDICTION: March 2009, and Jul 2009, Pachter predicts "Grand Theft Auto 5" will arrive in 2010, and 2011, respectively. In December 2010, after noticing we were no closer to a "GTAV" release date, Pachter predicts "GTAV" would rear its head by 2012.
OUTCOME: No, no, and nope. Here we are in 2013, and Rockstar has yet to release the next "GTA" installment. Originally slated to release this Spring, Rockstar has since promised that we'll all have our hands on "GTAV" this Fall.
And the predictions keep coming. At this year's South By Southwest, as noted on Geoff Keighley's Twitter, Pachter predicted the next generation of consoles will be last and Microsoft's next console will include a TV tuner, Skype integration and a Kinect bundled with every one.
Pachter plays a simple numbers game with his predictions. If you throw enough of them against a wall, one of them (or a few if he's lucky) are bound to stick sooner or later. I'm sure with even more time, we'll be able to look back on some of his more insane predictions, and laugh at the man who has since blissfully faded into obscurity.
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