Logitech Buys Saitek’s Sim Controller Business For $13m

Saitek, the makers of a great many switch-covered peripherals for controlling planes, trains, and and automobiles, have been sold for $13 million (about £10 million) in cash. Saitek was owned by fellow controller company Mad Catz, who bought them in 2007, but now they march under the banner of peripheral giants Logitech. (I recommend Saitek’s Pro Flight™ Rudder Pedals for marching simulators – the differential braking really sells the footfeel.)

Logitech pick up the Saitek brand and their lines of flight, farming, and space controllers, along with equipment and data that went into making them. Eight Saitek research & development folks have joined Logitech too.

Mad Catz are keeping the keyboards, mice, and other bits that they put out after picking up Saitek, mind. It’s always awkward, that post-breakup division of possessions. Neither Mad Catz nor Logitech have publicly declared who got the crockery, the TV, the fondue pot that was technically given as a Christmas present to both of them, nor the half-dead peace lily in the kitchen.

What does this mean for people who dig Saitek hardware? Forecasts may vary depending on how much you liked Mad Catz and how much faith you have in Logitech.

“The Saitek product line complements our market-leading portfolio of Logitech G gaming products,” Logitech said in their announcement, “. . . and expands our leadership position at a very exciting time for gaming.”

Nnno. That’s not businessy enough for me. It’s Friday morning, I want some hardcore mega-business before the weekend. Come on, Mad Catz, hit me with your best shot:

“Our Board and management team are highly focused on enhancing shareholder value and we believe this transaction is consistent with our ongoing efforts, enabling us to improve our financial position and working capital to better support and grow our Mad Catz and Tritton video game accessories and headset brands. As we continue to evolve our business strategy to operate the Company more strategically while leveraging resources more efficiently, we are confident that the sale of the Saitek brand and product line, along with the other previously-disclosed Company-wide initiatives, will result in improved financial performance and shareholder value.”

That’s the stuff! Evolve that business strategy. Leverage those resources more efficiently. Meet me for a drink about seven?

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I wonder if this is going to affect the build quality. While all the Saitek stuff I’ve used (two Cyborg X-s and a X52 Pro) have felt pretty great to use, they’ve an unfortunate tendency to have internal wires snap and similar failures.

    • DThor says:

      My personal experience has been a general dissatisfaction with Catz and pretty happy with Logitech. I see this as a move for the good, hopefully.

      • C0llic says:

        I have no experience using Mad Catz stuff (aside from their old console controllers, which i remember being crappy) but I do like Logitech stuff. It’s generally fairly well made, and i’d definitely put them above Razer, the other big boy for gaming toys and tools.

    • LionsPhil says:

      My old, I think pre-MadCatz, Saitek stick has been awesome. Logitech…not so much. Oh well.

    • Cinek says:

      Never had any problems. Logitech on the other hand… well, they’re as reliable as cheap no-name accessories sold in Tesco, or wherever.

      • Sakkura says:

        The lifespan of Logitech mice is measured in decades.

        • vahnn says:

          I’ve had 7 Logitech mice over the last 17 years (because I like trying new things), and i know at least 4 if them still work, including the oldest one. I’d bet a nut the other 3 still work.

          Hey, so does my Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback joystick.

        • Llewyn says:

          Really? I liked Logitech mice, and more recently use their M570 trackball, for their feel but I’d never regard them as quality products. Most of it might be fine, but the switches they use for the two main mouse buttons are notoriously prone to regular failure. I tend to regard my Logitech purchases as a two-year rental.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            I’ve had many many Logitech mice and while yes, one of them did eventually fail on the left button, that was after close to a decade of extremely intensive use.

            I don’t know what the hell you people are doing to your mice.

          • gunny1993 says:

            TBF on the internet notorious means that 1000 people out of 15 million have had a similar problem and gone to the forums to see another statistically insignificant amount of people with the same problem.

            You want real information look at the warranties (Unless anyone has actually done a decent study on them) my logitek G700s (Which I got for free when my G9 failed because of the wire)has a 3 year warranty whereas Mad Catz have a maximum of two years.

            So even if it had failed in the two years, I’d still be covered.

          • Llewyn says:

            Whether the percentage of devices failing is significant is impossible to determine either way from posts on the internet. All we have is anecdotal evidence – yours have never failed (other than the one that did for something else), whereas 80% of mine have failed (through the same issue each time) while I still wanted to use them.

            Of course, that “still wanted to use them” is part of the problem – they’re good devices, and I don’t want to use other mouse brands (and have no alternative to my trackball anyway). If they were disposable rubbish then I’d never even notice a tendency to fail.

            However, a big thank you for the warranty pointer. I’ve often bought other components on that basis (WD hard drives for many years) but hadn’t even noticed that my M570 has a 3 year warranty. As it’s started to show the same symptoms I’ve now submitted a warranty claim. I am in your debt.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          I’ve owned two Logitech mice. The first one was a PS/2 ball mouse going for years with regular cleaning in the early 00’s. I replaced it with an optical USB one, can’t remember the brand but it was probably a bundled Microsoft mouse.

          Replaced that with a Logitech MX518 in ~2008 and it’s still going. Probably millions of clicks and thousands of miles slid around on meters of long-since discarded mouse mats and a billion text lines scrolled.
          The wheel started going wonky last year though, still works but a detent is getting worn out and skips sometimes.

    • frightlever says:

      I bought a Cyborg X which was broken out of the box, but I took it apart and fixed it, and a X52 which was also broken but I wasn’t messing around with that so I returned it. Anecdotal sure, but to me Saitek quality is junk.

      • vahnn says:

        That reminds me, I got an X55 Rhino and 2 buttons were non-functional out of the box. I had to take the stick apart myself and solder a couple wires and hot glue a broken plastic mounting bracket. Did all this because I didn’t get a response for customer service for a month. They got back to me a week after I fixed it myself.

        I enjoyed the stick a great deal afterthat.

  2. Pilgore says:

    Wait, Friday morning? W…w-what?

  3. foop says:

    I’ve always found the combined Mad Catz/Saitek website to be a confusing maze of twisty turny links. I tend to get almost to the page I want, be it drivers or tech specs, only to end up on pages belonging to the wrong half of the company.

    Hopefully Logitech will fix all that without ballsing everything else up.

  4. Troubletcat says:

    “evolve our business strategy to operate the Company more strategically”

    Oh my! How… Strategic!

    Hopefully with this move Saitek’s wonderfully designed controllers will be put together with a little more care. Build quality/QC has been a big problem for Mad Catz forever.

    • eljueta says:

      As we continue to evolve our business strategy to operate […] more strategically while leveraging resources more efficiently, we are confident that the sale […], along with the other previously-disclosed Company-wide initiatives, will result in improved financial performance and shareholder value.

      if you just cut the two subjects, you realize nothing has been said :D

      • Someoldguy says:

        I think it says they sold stuff, shed some staff and pocketed some $13m in cash. looks like that’s the Christmas party covered for the remaining employees.

  5. Zanchito says:

    I’ve got an X-55 Rhino and am quite happy with it, generally. The software could use a bit of work, though. All my Logitech experiences range from positive to “Wow, I can’t believe it’s not butter!”, so I see this as a change for the better.

  6. CaptainDju says:

    Funny timing, I was doing some research to purchase a flightstick and I had read a lot of negative comments about the Mad Catz aspect of the Saitek sticks.

    Having had only great experiences with logitech products I’m looking forward to this!

  7. El_MUERkO says:

    I have an Saitek X52 flight stick and a Logitech G27 steering wheel, both are solid entry level sim gear, maintainable, upgradeable, repairable. I think with the right investment from Logitech the Saitek range could be improved and give owners reason to upgrade.

  8. Fry says:

    $13 seems absurdly cheap. Must have been a bunch of debt involved.

  9. Zenicetus says:

    I’ve been flight simming and space combat simming since day one on the PC. The usual mantra in recent years has been like this for me:

    1) Saitek is cheap to buy, works fine until it doesn’t. Avoid if possible.
    2) CH Products is better built and more reliable for mid-level joysticks, throttles, and pedals, although the design is kinda basic. Recommended for those on a budget. Lasts forever.
    3) If you’ve got the budget, go Thrustmaster. Especially the Warthog stick and throttle if you can afford it. It’s what I use, with the stiff mainspring removed on the stick (better for helicopters).

    My opinion changed slightly when I decided to try a different set of rudder pedals than the CH ones I had been using for years. They’re a bit cramped for my big feet. So I tried the Saitek Pro Flight Combat rudder pedals (the ones with the silver metal pedals). Used them for 2 years now and I’m impressed with the build quality, so far. Not sure if they’re still made though? The Saitek web site is a mess, and only shows the black pedals.

  10. Det. Bullock says:

    So finally saitek might be getting back on track again?
    Because their quality issues under MadCatz scared me off from buying anything from them.

  11. Jediben says:

    Logitech have fantastic customer support so even if the suspect build quality of Saitek remains, at least you should be able to get it sorted out. I think this could be a great move by Logitech.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Elusiv3Pastry says:

    Maybe we’ll get some Win10 drivers that actually work for HOTAS setups now.

  13. Jediben says:

    But for pity’s sake, don’t buy any peripherals for the purpose of playing No Man’s Sky!

  14. Ozeh says:

    Logitech’s gaming mouse and keyboard served me well for a decade before eventually succumbing to material fatigue. GT Driving Force is still going strong after almost 8 years of moderate usage.
    I’ve been thinking about buying HOTAS, but couldn’t find anything recommended/durable/affordable enough on the market. Let’s hope this will change now.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      The Thrustmaster HOTAS x and 4 are good enough ubercheap, next a throttle to attach to the T-16000 will be available in October for a not-quite-as-cheap solution, then excluding Saitek there are only CH Products which while not quite Warthog level can cost an arm and a leg outside the US and then the aforementioned Warthog, there is also VKB but they don’t have a complete HOTAS available yet and they tend to do premium niche stuff that costs, you can guess it, an arm and a leg.

  15. buzzmong says:

    Logitech’s joysticks of old lasted me a decade or so. My pre-MadCatz Saitek stuff is doing ok.

    My Madcatz-era X-55 isn’t very good for the price. Cheaply made, somethings like the mouse nipple just don’t work, the “slider” isn’t one, and the hat switches are poor amongst others.

    Looking forward to Logitech taking over the brand and making decent quality stuff at a resonable price point.

  16. Papageno says:

    We can only hope that Saitek’s stuff gets better in Logitech’s hands than it’s been in those of MadCatz.
    I’m actually hoping that that upcoming midrange HOTAS from Thrustmaster is decent and durable. I’ve got a HOTAS X that’s served me well.

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