Peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz, known for its control pads and fightsticks among other products, was in operation for 28 years before it shut down in March 2017. Understandably, several factors led to the company’s bankruptcy and ultimate demise but on the surface, it seemed that Rock Band 4‘s poor performance was the nail in the coffin (click here for context).
However, former employees say that Mad Catz had taken a downward spiral after a series of bad decisions and was already in trouble prior to the Rock Band fiasco.
Speaking to Eurogamer, former VP Chris von Huben expressed his surprise at the company lasting as long as it did. Huben, who left in 2014, said that Mad Catz “had been doomed for three years” and his sentiments were echoed by several others – some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
In 2011, Mad Catz had a great year and “it felt like it was on such a high and decided to go on a spurt of random things that it felt would bolster success,” revealed Huben. The company’s poor decisions included: taking on more than it could handle rather than focusing on its strengths, getting into games publishing and releasing games that people didn’t want, manufacturing rather useless mobile accessories, and the MOJO Android console.
MOJO, according to Huben, was a “complete flop.” He says that Mad Catz’s management believed that traditional console gaming was on its way out and “banked on” the Android console. You’ve already guessed what happened next.
Former product manager Aaron Smith says Mad Catz suffered an identity crisis and lost its way. At one point, he says, the company decided that it was a premium brand even though “Mad Catz was always the less expensive controller that you bought instead of the first party controller because it was cheaper. ”
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