Pachter: Gamers "Have No Clue" About Recession

Pachter: Gamers "Have No Clue" About Recession


Michael Pachter thinks core gamers have no clue that there's a recession going on, and for that he is thankful.

Ignorance is bliss. With the world economy in turmoil and the previously "recession-proof" games industry feeling the crunch, the healh of the industry relies on one specific group of people: the consumers. Luckily for us, according to Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter, a good portion of those consumers are so engrossed in the new Call of Duty game that they don't seem to be aware that the dollar is crashing and burning.

"They may be wealthy, they may be poor, but [core gamers] have no clue we are in a recession," Pacther told the Associated Press. Okay, maybe he doesn't mean that literally, but, along with his estimate that core gamers are responsible for roughly half of all game purchases, he means to say that gamers will continue to buy games, even in the face of certain economic apocalypse.

Despite how explosive the success of the Wii and casual gaming may be, the fact that those consumers belong more to the general population means their buying habits are susceptible to the trends of the wider economy, some analysts have speculated. Casual gamers are more likely to cut back, while hardcore consumers will keep spending no matter what. "As long as hard-core gamers have a job, they will continue to buy games," Billy Pidgeon, an analyst at IDC, said.

Retailers, then, are banking on hardcore gamers' spending power, and pointing to the success of games like Call of Duty: World at War and Gears of War 2 as evidence of their unswaying buying habits. "If the core gamers and the avid gamers are with us through these very unpredictable times, that's a very, very good sign for us," R. Richard Fontaine, GameStop's chairman, said during a conference call.

So, hardcore gamers - please stop reading the newspaper. You'll be doing this industry a huge favor.


Pretty much what they think...according to him.
Excuse me. I'm going to go buy two copies of Mirrors Edge Collectors Edition

I will probably keep buying games as long as I can still afford them on top of Rent and Food.

This is why this industry is suceeding where others are tripping and falling then being left behind with a bloodied face. That being that core-gamers are not running about with their heads chopped off.

Ignore the issue, that's a reasonable way to fix it.(This may actually work, but I'd prefer a sure-fire plan, this is more or less hit and miss)

What don't we have a clue about? I was too busy out buying games to read more than 5 words into the article...

Oh I am WELL AWARE there is a recession going on but I have to disagree to a point that ignorance is not really the reason core gamers are still buying games.

My take on it from my current financial position(making about 15k a year after taxes) is that gamers do not really live a really expensive lifestyle. Sure they might have a big screen t.v. and a badass computer but those are all ONE time purchases that require saving up money to buy. While gaming is an expensive hobby the choice of buying video games for core gamers is not done everyday or even every week, games are purchased in small bursts where one paycheck can easily cover our passion for games for weeks.

Also while video games is our hobby they are not a luxurious when compared to eating out everyday for dinner, going to the movies, clubbing, dancing, and other various social endevors. Core gamers are quite minimalists when it comes to costs, some like myself may be frugal but more often than not after a long day's work sitting down at one's computer or reading a book or playing game is actually quite cheap in the long run versus buying a game one time in the short term.

So even if you make under the poverty line like myself you can still enjoy a life of gaming by being smart with your money and with our built in habits I really don't worry about the recession going on until the dollar becomes as worthless as the paper it is printed on.

Although what I really wish is that I made more money to start INVESTING along with saving money in my money market account and certificate deposits because this IS the time to start investing in companies

The thing is, most 'core gamers' don't socialise or entertain themselves in the same way as the 'general population'. I admit that I don't know how it works in America, but in England the vast majority of gamers socialise around each other's houses with a DVD or two, or they socialise via computer technology (here including LAN parties, which do still happen a fair amount) and they largely entertain themselves by, well, gaming. The 'general population' however, primarily socialise by going out to a pub or club and they often entertain themselves the same way. Pubs and clubs are hurt by a recession and pass on the economic impact to the comsumer; DVD and game publishers are also hurt by a recession, but their impact on the gamer is reduced by the presence of DVDs and games the gamer already owns.

Most of my social and entertainment activities have a financial cost of zero and an opportunity cost of zero. The opportunity cost of buying a new game will even, sometimes, be negative because I'll be playing it for several evenings and the next best alternative, taken from an entertainment perspective rather than a financial one, might indeed be something like going to the pub. Becoming more of an insular and socially maladjusted gamer is probably a valid mitigation strategy during a recession.

This is blown way out of proportion. The article even mentions he "maybe didn't mean it literally". I'm surprised you have so much to write over so little.

I'm Helping =D

as long as there are good games to buy, and i can afford them, i certainly wont stop buying them. buuuut.... i think that's how people usually work with the things that they are into... as long as its not, like, collecting porsches.

I will play as long as I have two working eyes, and two working thumbs, or even just one working thumb.

Unless I'm misinformed recesions often see a upturn in entertainment, like movie tickets, because people want to comfort themselves. Logic dictates that games should do even better during a depression, but I'll settle for the sales being generally unaffected.

All those guys pushing ahead into casual games are going to be feeling mighty silly when the casual market dries up because they're all too broke to buy games and food in the same month. Only companies making games hardcore enough to be worth starving yourself for (in the view of the core gamer) will survive.


In other news, about half of all people who buy crack are addicted to it and will continue to buy it over rent, food, or loved ones. The crack market looks like it will remain unaffected by the economy due to an unshakable demand in this demographic. anyone else vaguely offended at this implication that I'm going to keep gobbling products up even if the "world is on fire"?

Hey guys, what's a recession? I look up definitions and stuff but my brain seems to be blocking the word.

Pachter's got a point, and an interesting way of making it. He's not talking about what we know, but about our behaviours; in spite of the spiralling economy, core gamers have prioritized their hobby to the point where it's nowhere near the top of the "cut-back list." Times are tough, but games are important. In the eyes of normal people, it makes no sense at all.

And while I think it's interesting that core gamers, the ones we're always hearing have become a minority and therefore increasingly irrelevant to the industry as a whole, are the ones who will carry it through this nonsense, I do get tired of hearing how the Wii is going to suffer because it's a mainstream system, the mainstream won't stick with it through rough times, etc. Give it a rest. The Wii has shown no signs of weakness, it's still stomping the guts out of the 360 and PS3 and once again, it's Christmas and you can't find the things for love or money. At this point, I think a lot of analysts keep repeating the Wii vulnerability line just so that when it does eventually falter - and it will, just like the NES and the PS2 did - they can say, well, we called it.

In the eyes of normal people, it makes no sense at all.

"Those gamers make no sense" said the normal person while stuffing him/herself full with comfort-candy :P

I know some of us can get pretty engrossed in a game, but it's damned hard to avoid knowing about what's going on.

If I run out of money I will beg, borrow or steal in order to play video games.

So yes, in that sense I guess the industry is "recession-proof".

I won't stop. Even if there's a video game prohibition, I'll set up a speakeasy.

i have purposely stopped buying things that are beyond necessity the hope that there is a collapse[on a global scale of course] ...except for cigarettes and booze....gimme a break if you aint smoking or drinking you are dying too slowly :P

in other words be glad you are not receiving your christmas gifts from me, for they shall be lame

I've stopped buying videogames for now. I know, shocking right? It's just while I don't have a job, but I've used the opportunity to go back to some old favourites and comprehensively beat the shit out of FIFA09 (Anyone up for a game? JimboRK1...look me up).

I think people are just in the habit of picking up games at retail instead of renting of swapping copies between friends. It's going to take a while to break that cycle, but when gamers do we'll either see a helluva lot more piracy, game swapping or going over to a friends place to play a single player game with a friend (like we did when we were kids).

I don't really see the big surprise... If someone said: Smokers "have no clue" about recession, people would think the person was crazy for even saying that. Gaming isn't THAT expensive, it's not like we're buying a new car every month. The economic crisis might become twice worse than it is now, but the gaming industry still wouldn't fall, it would be damaged, that's for sure, but it definitely wouldn't fall. I guess it would fall if the crisis went to the "I either eat today or play games" then ya, but otherwise it's rooted pretty deep. The reason things like this even cause people to turn around and shrug their shoulders is that gaming and anything along with it is still considered to be a no lifer thing by the major community. For example, yesterday I went to a party with my classmates and me being the driver, I had to stay alcohol-less. This gave me a great chance, while being sober in a party for once, see everything from a third person perspective and see what defines the non gaming "lifers" who sometimes criticize me. I found it strange how it's considered cool to get drunk, act like a complete idiot, dance to shitty music and then go out in the snow and smoke for an hour. The point I'm trying to make is that as long as the majority does something, it's considered normal, if the minority does something it, it's considered a waste of time.

Since I buy a game every month or so (mostly after price drops), recession really has no effect. Honestly, if I were affected by the recession deeply, I'd probably scale down on my buying but I'm not and no one I know is really affected much.

Honestly, if they didn't keep up the 'OMG RECESSION' like they're keeping up the 'OMG TERROR THREAT' I wouldn't have known/noticed anything.

I spent about $65ish taking a girl on a date the other week. (And this is a relatively cheap date, ~9.75 each for movie tickets, ~15.00 each for food/drinks, and fuel.)
I spent $60 on Gears 2 and I'm still playing it. who the hell thought to themselves 'OMG a recession! To hell with buying games right now, our economy is in turmoil!'

Anyone? And I thought British News was a joke...

I won't stop. Even if there's a video game prohibition, I'll set up a speakeasy.

Damn straight! i'll be in there every day damnit!

Heh...won't us buying games help keep the economy up? Spending and keeping money flowing, all that?


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