Since 1989 Mad Catz has been a dominant force in the 3rd party video game peripheral market. They produced everything from flight sticks to dance mats. Almost every person I’ve talked to has owned at least one of their products. Unfortunately, as of March of this year, Mad Catz is defunct. They’ve gone the way of Sega’s hardware division, off to wherever it is corporation’s go to die, (the midwest I imagine.)
So what caused the downfall of this industry giant? Rumors have been circulating about coke fueled hooker parties in the boardroom, mad embezzlement schemes, and CFO murder/suicide pacts. While some* journalists would like to spin sensational stories to grab headlines; I’m here to reveal the mundane truth. Mad Catz Interactive Inc delivered less than favorable sales numbers over the last five years. In 2015 and 2016, they bet heavily on the Rock Band plastic instrument demand and failed to sell enough faux guitars and drums to offset their costs. This combined with the loss of several members of senior management early last year put the company in a downward spiral that it couldn’t recover from. On March 30th 2017 Mad Catz Interactive Inc filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Before their story ended, Mad Catz had long been a fixture in the gaming community. They produced a variety of products under several other brand names. Most people never realized the extent of the Mad Catz empire, but they were responsible for such brands as: Tritton, Saitek, Gameshark, and Joytech. They were responsible for some excellent fighting pads and arcade sticks. There were even a few instances where Mad Catz dipped their toe into the publishing waters with a handful of forgettable titles including Rock Band 3 and 4.
Unfortunately, posterity won’t remember Mad Catz for their contributions to the industry. Instead their legacy will be of questionable build quality paired with what can best be described as the aesthetic design sense of an 8th grader. To say some of Mad Catz’s peripherals are ugly would be a disservice to sideshow freaks everywhere. In bro-speak, their average accessory would equate to about a two in California, or a Nebraska five. So join me in waving a jovial goodbye to Mad Catz with a slideshow of some of the ugliest accessories I’ve ever owned.
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