Peripheral manufacturer, Mad Catz, recently reported a devastating $11.6 million loss, which was largely attributed to the “incredibly disappointing” demand for Rock Band 4. Since the publication of the story, both Harmonix and Mad Catz have indirectly gone back and forth a bit, shifting the blame on to one another, with the former claiming that Mad Catz suffered due to poor inventory management and the latter releasing yet another statement claiming that Rock Band 4 simply didn’t do well.
In a statement to Game Informer, Harmonix said that the game “did well” for the studio and sold “within the range” it had expected. In fact, CEO Steve Janiak claims that such was its demand that retailers actually struggled to keep up during the holiday season.
With a business like Rock Band that involves hardware, if you are manufacturing that hardware you need to get the inventory levels right – with most of it available at retail in time for the holiday selling season.
We know that there were Xbox One adapter shortages at launch, but the implication here is that Mad Catz had trouble keeping up with demand during the busy holiday. The $8.3 million in inventory it is currently holding would then have arrived after the holiday season closed, when demand had tapered off.
Mad Catz just wasn’t having it, and released another statement to the publication, stating that “it’s clear” that Rock Band 4‘s demand did not meet expectations.
While we agree that it is important to get inventory levels correct for any product, including Rock Band 4, it is clear to us that consumer demand for Rock Band 4 did not meet expectations, resulting in excess inventories not only for Mad Catz, but for our retail partners, as well as discounting in retail prices during and after the holiday season. Looking ahead, we continue to share a vested interest in the success of Rock Band 4.
Seems that both companies have taken an opposite stance on the issue. Either way, our thoughts go out to the employees that have been affected this this.
Harmonix has since announced the extension of its partnership with Fender for another 10 years.
What do our readers think of this?