Mad Catz Wants to Take on Fight Stick King Hori in JapanS

Hot off the success of their licensed Street Fighter tournament edition fight sticks in the U.S., Mad Catz is hoping to expand their reach into the land of Street Fighter: Japan.

Currently popular fight-stick manufacturer Hori has the licensing rights to Street Fighter in Japan, said Alex Verrey, the Mad Catz' spokesman. But they'd like to see that change. And, according to Verrey, so do some very important players.

At the most recent Tougeki: Super Battle Opera, a famed Street Fighter tournament in Japan, seven out of ten of the finalists owned Mad Catz sticks, Verrey said.

"What makes it even more amazing is that they aren't made officially in Japan, so they had imported sticks across from the U.S. which is unheard of really because it's normally the other way round," he said. "The interest now has peaked in Japan and has given us a foothold in the Japanese market so we are actually releasing the tournament edition of the sticks without the graphics."

Mad Catz can't release sticks with Street Fighter graphics because of Hori's license, but they hope that will change.

Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori "Ono loves our stuff," Verrey said. "He'd love to broaden that relationship.

"It's something we would like to look at, it's something we are keen to pursue."