Mad Catz files for bankruptcy

Mad Catz, the controller company known for their plastic guitars and mice which look like cars from a cyberpunk anime, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy. The company has ceased operations, its directors and officers have resigned, and they’re starting liquidation. Mad Catz have been in financial trouble for a fair while and tried to turn it around, including selling their Saitek flight sim line to Logitech in September, but this looks like the end.

Friday’s announcement says that Mad Catz have explored many approaches to save the company, including looking into more financing and potentially selling assets or even the whole dang company, but it’s not worked out. They do call out “the outstanding efforts” of Mad Catz employees, “especially during the time that the Company faced financial difficulties.”

Back in February 2016, Mad Catz announced a restructuring plan that included laying off 37% of its staff. Over the year since, Mad Catz have suffered problems caused partially by lower-than-expected sales of Rock Band 4, which they distributed and marketed as well as making instruments for, as well as increased distribution costs and increased returns. They had kept on launching new products but it wasn’t enough. In March faced they delisting from the New York Stock Exchange last week because of its low share price and… here we are.

The liquidation process may yet see other peripheral producers pick titbits from the carcass of Mad Catz. Their current line-up includes the Rat gaming mice, Strike keyboards, and many fightsticks, gamepads, mouse pads, and headsets.

From this site

43 Comments

  1. Ansob says:

    Fingers crossed that Hori or someone else with decent quality buys out the fightstick part of the business, at least, since Mad Catz sticks are still the nicest ones on the market despite Hori catching up and Razer having just released one.

    • plsgodontvisitheforums says:

      Logitech bought Saitek last year for USD 13mln so that’s safe. And the rest in the range was pretty questionable at best.

      • LewdPenguin says:

        Was about to post this too, with the Saitek part of the business in the hands of logitech there’s a good chance imo of it remaining decent since can’t say I’ve had any issues with the various logitech bits I’ve had. 1 mouse died after a number of years service, another is still going strong, the newish G403 mouse I recently got I like, and the GT Force wheel has far outlasted the mad catz one that preceded it and is overall a better wheel too.
        On the flip side pretty much everything I’ve had or handled from mad catz has always felt like bargain basement cheap crap, perhaps their instrument-controllers were better, I’ve personally never had any real interest in playing those games so never handled them myself, but with Saitek in good hands I can’t say there’s anything I’ll miss with the demise of the mad catz brand.

      • Ansob says:

        Saitek (or Logitech) don’t make fightsticks.

        • Premium User Badge

          Waltorious says:

          I own a Saitek flight stick. So they at least used to make them, and I was under the impression that they still did.

          • Malcolm says:

            I’m thinking there might be some confusion in this thread between Flightstick (for planes) and Fightstick (for pugilism)

      • Det. Bullock says:

        Saitek was in quite a sorry state under MadCatz, while hunting for a new joystick two years ago I found out their joysticks often had serious quality control issues (a few reviewers had to send back theirs more than twice before getting one that worked properly) and have sometimes driver problems.
        The Arcade Stick division however was good, but only because they started importing parts used for japanese arcade cabinets instead of producing their own, I have one of their older models bought cheaply on eBay and it’s very good fo what a scrub like me can ascertain.

    • Premium User Badge

      goodpoints says:

      They only reason Mad Catz fightsticks are decent is because they don’t use their own buttons & sticks. (except for the awful Alpha which is all them) You have to shell out at least $200 to get ones that actually use arcade quality Sanwa components. Hori made arcade parts long before they started making home fightsticks, and a $150 RAP uses controls of the same quality as the Sanwas. If you’re crazy enough to have a strong preference for either, you need to be building your fightstick anyway. Mad Catz seems to have licensed decals on all their fightsticks too, which probably drives the price up some.

      So with the only decent thing MadCatz fightsticks being the Sanwa parts, Hori is probably celebrating Sanwa losing a big contract and possibly becoming the only mass market arcade quality fightsticks for some time. I wonder how much it will affect Sanwa’s future since I have no idea how they’re doing in the Japanese arcade market.

      • bill says:

        Sanwa makes good quality arcade stuff? Well i never!

        Because generally Sanwa makes cheap junk. If I go to the electronics store, invariably the cheapest most plasticky models in every category will be made by Sanwa.
        Come to think of it, I think my cheap $5 gamepad was made by Sanwa. It’s not bad for $5.

        Maybe it’s a different Sanwa…

        • Det. Bullock says:

          Sanwa sticks and buttons are literally the parts used for a good chunk of the arcade cabinets used in Japan, they probably do crappy gamepads and home peripeherals but arcade parts HAVE to survive a beating by definition and they are one of the few manifacturers still active in that sector.

        • Premium User Badge

          goodpoints says:

          Sanwa, Seimitsu and Hori are the main Japanese arcade component manufacturers, I think Hori is a more recent entrant into that market though.

          That’s kind of funny though, I didn’t know Sanwa made anything but arcade parts but their website (at least the US one) most predominately features RC stuff.

  2. Hypocee says:

    It’s a bit of a shame for me because their pads have always fit me absolutely to a T, better than even the Dualshock and Wavebird. It was a little uncanny. But of course, plenty of others fit just fine and I have all I need. Shrug.

    Somewhere in the middle of my massive projects list is a brain transplant putting a new eye into the RAT7 I treated myself to 3 years back. Turns out they used a Philips Navigator Something-or-Other which has a design flaw that every few minutes makes it forget that it’s a microchip and need to be power-cycled. I’m sure that was fun to deal with.

  3. gwop_the_derailer says:

    My best of wishes to the employees.

  4. Alberto says:

    Why high end peripherals seem designed by teenagers living in the nineties? Just the idea of how much dirt and grime can get stuck in the pictured above mouse turns me away from even consider it.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      That’s part of why I went for the G403 rather than many of the other ‘gaming’ mice, it’s got the same fancypants sensor and buttons, but in a conventional body rather than something that looks like a sci-fi design concept for an alien warship.

    • Sin Vega says:

      I struggled to even get a bog standard pc case last time I tried, without having some hideous shite bolted on. Eventually bought a gigantic pink box with a huge unwanted window on one side exposing the ugly innards AND goddamn LEDs, because it was the least hideous I could find. PC hardware designers apparently can’t even do a fucking box.

      On the plus side, the pink colour was surprisingly nice, it goes with most things better than you’d think. And it was one of the cheapest going, which enabled me to buy several boozes instead. Hurrah!

      But yes, all “gaming” anythings are highly embarassing, and would probably be marginally less bad for humanity in the toxic gaseous form that would result from the fires they deserve to perish in.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Highly recommend Fractal Design for clean black looks and lots of handy features. Might cost a bit more, but it’s not obscene.

        Pink sounds nice, though.

      • Merry says:

        I struggled to even get a bog standard pc case last time I tried

        Assuming you mean just a case and not a ready-built PC in an ordinary case, I wonder where in the world you are to gave such trouble? In the UK there are endless black cuboid boxes available from the likes of Ebuyer, Scan, Dabs etc.

      • Jalan says:

        The last time I needed to replace a case, Cooler Master (shockingly) had exactly what I needed. Solid, black, no windows or ugly lights – the biggest “unnecessary” addition was a blue stripe around the front rim and even then it’s so barely noticeable that I often forget it’s there until I shine a light on it.

      • hpstg says:

        How slow are you if that’s your issue? You couldn’t buy a non-window Fractal Design R5? And you want to be taken seriously? This place does attract narcissists, but most of us try to hide it better.

        • Sin Vega says:

          Excuse me for browsing for something I needed to buy once like 99% of the population doing most of their unfamiliar but necessary purchases, and not memorising an encyclopedia of brand names for a goddamn box.

          • Ragnar says:

            The previous poster was a bit rude, but the Fractal Design Define R5 (and R4 before it) is one of the most highly and commonly recommended cases. Well made, spacious and a pleasure to work in, clean understated looks, and virtually silent.

            And come on, you’re building your own PC – 99% of people don’t do that, you’re already in the awesome minority. And compared to everything else that goes in it, finding a great case doesn’t take that much research.

            In any case, you now know for next time. :)

    • Janichsan says:

      That’s not even the worst I’ve seen.

    • Merry says:

      how much dirt and grime can get stuck in the pictured above mouse

      I bought a RAT 7 and loved it so much that I also got a RAT M (the little Bluetooth version for laptops) and a RAT Pro X. They’re much better than you’d think because there’s no chassis beneath the gaps like a keyboard has and the grime just falls through. The RAT Pro X even has hydrophobic coating. They remain the cleanest of my peripherals by far

    • Jakkar says:

      They’re great mice, longevity issues aside. So many clever ideas, most of which do actually work ;)

      No, they don’t get particularly dirty – no more than any other mouse I’ve used, anyway, and they’re easy to clean because you can remove a lot of their components and they don’t feature tiny, sub-millimetre gaps between buttons, keys and frames, but rather big, comfortable spacings, catching less dirt and making it easier to remove.

      Their tendency to develop a faulty sensor or a weak button a bit earlier than the major brands is something I find acceptable on the basis that when they break, I just take them back to the shop for a quick and painless replacement. Worth it, for the customisability.

      After years of RATs I recently went over to an exceptionally well-reviewed Logitech mouse, and… Yes, it’s a very nice mouse.

      No, it’s not any better than the RAT, and lacks any of the customisability that made the RATs fit my hands so nicely and glide so gloriously… And it was more expensive.

      I hope someone rescues the RAT mouse line, or at least carries on its lineage of exceptionally clever customisability, modular panels, and big capacity for optional weights.

      I miss my pinky rest, too.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I’ve been using a Rat 7 for about 5 years and I’ve had no problems with it other than having to reinstall the device driver from time to time.

      It looks that way because they are modular. You can swap out and adjust parts to make it better suited to your hand.

    • clonitza says:

      Maybe you should wash your hands after picking up manure, just sayin’ …

  5. thomas16632 says:

    no more tournament edition stick for street fighter.
    Anyway, SF5 is dying because of too much crapiness

    • montorsi says:

      Uh, no, SFV’s competitive scene is alive and better than ever (see: ELeague, ESL, Redbull on top of the usual CPT events). You also seem unaware of the multitude of other fightsticks available these days, but we will all harbor some nostalgia for their pioneering the way after the move to consoles.

      • thomas16632 says:

        i admit i’m not really aware of the current situation, i just remember i got my stick for 120€, and last time i checked for sticks, they are more about 200€. Hope it’s less expensive.

        And apologies, but about SF5, i really really tried to play it, after 8 years of mastering SF4. All i see is, you have to wait to launch the game, wait more to connect to someone, and then wait even more to load the game (it seems it’s more a waiting loop than a loading loop though, cf SF5 fast load mod). Then you can have teleport lag, even if the game lied to you after you asked for a 5 bars connection.

        They at least said they will begin to fully rework on netcode, and the matchmaking, one year later.

        Add to this the fact that this is a guessing game because of input lag – yeah, try to react to dash throw… Japanese say that, if you watch a step forward, then i probably will be a dash, then do 2MK or whatever. Nice :)

        Add to this that the game is less varied than SF4.
        It’s far from being as popular as SF4. Sure, pros continue playing this instead of the fun games (guilty gear), but casuals, really ? i gave up, and this game should die, because it’s a lie in itself. Not really funny, not varied, and the worse, the worse netcode ever seen.

        I never had that much problem with SF4. Launch 20 sec, matchmaking find room of 2, 20 sec later i was playing. Not 5 or 10 minutes later.

        But be my guest and keep on playing SF5. Err sorry, keep on waiting for a game :)

      • thomas16632 says:

        ps : i’m too old for
        -waiting to have a match because of ### netcode
        -grind my life (mmos, “for honor” lol)
        now i want reasonnable grind (Dark souls), no dailies, no quest for the week (because if you don’t have time to complete, then you have nuts).

        My time is precious, so all designers that make me loose my time, go to hell, without my money :)

  6. Ben Damage says:

    Man, this is sad. I mean, they put out a bunch of terrible things recently, all angles and harsh vibes, but this is a company that I remember being the go-to since I was a kid. I guess nostalgia is this decade’s disease for gamers.

  7. lockexxv says:

    This is just a tear jerker to me. Registered just to reply to this article! Madcats was so good and so shit forever. I can remember buying their offbrand controllers for Nintendo 64 since I was a kid, and nobody really wanted them because they were so fat and bulky but by God they worked and they worked well and they were the only product that held up as long as Nintendo’s stuff. I’m pretty sure I’ve had the entire amalgamate of their products from the N64-PS2 era.

    The part to me I guess that is sad is that they were so shit but they were also dependable. It’s like their stuff was crap but it wasn’t crappy enough not to own. As we all grew up and got older it was always the funniest thing to hand someone the Madcat control at a drinking party. There’d be a lot of bitching and moaning but usually the person with the Madcats control was just as good if not better than anyone else with the regular control. I guess it was just how ludicrous those things look and felt, but fucking A they did the job and they did it well!

    RIP to a company who was always the butt of a joke but was also always dependable. :(

  8. Jane Doe says:

    Given their well earned reputation for having severe quality problems with Joysticks under the Saitek brand, I’m not surprised. I’m not even sure Logitech did themselves a favor with buying it.

    I once tried one of them space age mouses as well. The ideas of size adjustability and functionality were surely groundbreaking, but the whole package couldn’t deliver and I went back to Logitech.

  9. Jakkar says:

    I feel irrationally guilty. I recently swapped over a set of non-RAT/Cyborg products after so many years of loving Saitek keyboards, then Cyborg keyboards, and those ridiculous(ly comfortable and modular and.. not very durable) mice.

    They were the best mid-range products I’ve played with in general, and the best-designed, most original and clever rethinks of mouse technology made.

    I hope someone manages to pick up the RAT product line, somehow.. I’ve certainly seen some weird new RAT products cropping up everywhere in the UK recently, with lots of their stock on prominent display in GAME shops. Not bargain bins, not reduced prices or stock selloffs – rather an increasingly varied and interesting set of new releases. Perhaps they were moved over from the US late in the game, but there might be something more complicated going on there?

  10. ColonelFlanders says:

    I had a madcatz dual shock controller back in the day. Every now and again it would just start reporting button presses of start in some weird rapid fire thing. Threw it in the bin and never bought one of their products again.

  11. aircool says:

    Sad to see, but I never really rated their products. Buttons would fail quite quickly.

    Their Saitek stuff remained solid and I still use a Saitek keyboard (back from when they were Saitek), so at least the quality stuff is safe (and has been for a while I guess).

    Still kinda sad though, not sure why.

    • thomas16632 says:

      buttons failing ?
      at least for tournament edition sticks (which were at about 120€ / $ )
      it was full sanwa. 1st of all, you could replace those button for really cheap, really easily, and 2nd, i never had to replace them lol, during 8 years of SF4.

      Although i have to admit, the pcb of one of my 2 sticks gave up after some year :/ But not the buttons lol

      • Det. Bullock says:

        He was referring to their in-house products like fightpads and other non arcade stick peripherals, they’ve all been quite crappy. Two years ago when digging around for a new joystick I found out even Saitek under them started to use very cheap components, buttons included according to some reviewers.

  12. Joey Fudgepants says:

    Mad Catz may be gone. But eastern European synthpop weirdos Mmadcatz (sic) are still going strong! link to youtube.com

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