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Nintendo has become a "fast food machine," says Pachter

Analyst says recognition more important than quality on Wii

Product recognition is more important to sales of Wii software than game quality, according to analyst Michael Pachter.

The Wedbush Morgan analyst told Gamasutra that the Wii consumer doesn't care how games compare to those on other systems, and is willing to buy games based on the brand name alone.

"The Wii audience isn't sophisticated enough to know whether the game they're buying compares favourably to, say, Gears of War or LittleBigPlanet, because they probably don't own an Xbox 360 or a PS3," he said.

"They buy the Wii games that they buy for the same reason that people go to McDonald's. McDonald's doesn't win a lot of restaurant critic awards but they are approachable, they're consistent, and you know what they're going to serve you."

"Nintendo has become the fast food machine. Sony is very much the high-end restaurant. And Microsoft is somewhere in between," he added.

If a game's cover, name or concept is readily apparent, that can be enough to convince a consumer to pay out for the title, Pachter said.

"If the concept is right, if the recognition factor is there, if you 'get it' from what's on the box, sometimes the game doesn't even have to be that good in order for it to sell."

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Latest comments (2)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.12 years ago
Goodness, Pachter. You truly are a veritable roller coasters of good and bad quotes.

I just read more of his insights from Gamasutra's feature and I'm wishing I hadn't. He gets sales figures incorrect, compares unknown IP's with established licensed IP's and couldn't make a more invalid analogy if I told him to pick any 3 random objects from a hat.
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Kojima would probably argue that "he told you so" 3 years ago...

Does sound like a whole lod of c** though. The comparison with McDonalds doesn't have much relevance apart from the catchy relationship with fast food.
Mc Donald's is partly based on a consistent experience (and not vaguely familiar experience), price (tell me Nintendo is cheap, so I have a laugh), and addresses people who EXACTLY know what they're getting.

Besides, what makes Sony a high end restaurant? Are PS owners more aware gamers than Xbox's? That's almost ironical to put the PS buyer (eg the former mainstream gamer) as the Michelin guide of gamers nowadays.

the only thing his analogy can say is that the more you sell, the more mainstream your audience probably is, and the less informed/selective they are. Wow, big revelation.
And anyway, what game has the luxury to not have a cover with an apparent name or concept? Sure some will be less depending on it, but whenever a game gets its cover wrong, it innevitably loses the chance of selling more.
It's like getting a movie poster or trailer wrong. It's bad marketing.

I surely hope game publishers didn't wait for the Wii to be a success to realise the importance of having a proper cover.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by shann biglione on 10th March 2009 6:46pm

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