Thursday, October 15

Pachter: iPod touch is the most dangerous thing that ever happened to publishers

Pachter sometimes says things that many in this industry may disagree with, but this time, at least some of his opinions are right on point.

The Webush Morgan Securities analyst believes when you put major franchises on Apple products it cheapens their value. He also believes the youngsters coming up who play games on the iPod touch and iPhone are less likely to make the move from said devices to the major gaming systems like the prior generation, who were brought up on arcade and handhelds.

"I think the publishers are completely lame on this, I think they have it wrong," Pachter told Bonus Round. "EA's chasing it because they think it's an opportunity, I think the iPod touch is the most dangerous thing that ever happened to the publishers, ever, and they don't get it for two reasons."

"One, if you put Madden on the iPod touch for $10, you just cheapen the value of Madden. Whether it's the same experience or not, and it's not, why would I ever spend $60 for Madden if I can get it for $10 on my iPod touch?"

Pachter was then asked whether the iPod touch version of a game is appealing to the same audience as home console versions, he continued:

"It's going to be a different audience, it's going to be young kids because iPod touch is $199 this Christmas, it'll be $149 next, $129. When it's $99 every little nine year kid is going to have one of those instead of a DS or PSP, and if you train kids this is the game that you want to play...... How about Tetris? Why would you pay $20 for Tetris when you could get it for $6.99 or $3.99 on an iPod touch?

"It's a serious threat to pricing. And once people start to look at this as a substitute for DS for the smaller kids, for 12 and unders, then you're going to train a whole generation of 12 and unders that this is a perfectly acceptable gaming experience at a low price point. I think that we all started playing arcade games because we're a little bit older, but all the 20 year old kids playing games now started playing on the GBA and you work your way up. I think Apple intends to capture that audience and keep them, it's dangerous, and I'm not a big fan of it from a publisher's perspective."

What say you on Pachter's opinion? I think he has some valid points, but he's off on many. EA has brought many of its major titles to the iPod touch and iPhone, including Madden, Fifa, and Need For Speed.

10/15/09 Ernice Gilbert

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