Mad Catz, once known for concentrating more on quantity than quality, is turning over a new leaf, the company's president told Kotaku.
"Mad Catz used to do high-end quality, all of the controllers had rubber grips and all of those kinds of things and then in the early 2000s we became kind of became the Wal-Mart guys," said Mad Catz president and CEO Darren Richardson. "The came to us and said we want to work with you guys and not the other guys and they wanted this, that and the other. We ended up following that thing and becoming bigger, but becoming more commodity and lower cost. And the last three years we basically discontinued the bulk of that business and we've really retooled into doing these more game-specific things."
That means that moving forward the number of products that Mad Catz is putting out in a year is going down, but that the price, and hopefully the quality, is going up.
"It's quite a different style business than the sort of Wal-Mart style business," he said.
Mad Catz now has four lines of products: The Saitek simulation flight sticks and controllers, the Cyborg pro-gaming mice and keyboards, the Eclipse home office keyboards and mice and the Mad Catz gaming controllers.
The Mad Catz gaming controllers seem to be the area that will see the most expansion. The company's deal with Capcom to produce Street Fighter fight sticks was a tremendous success, said Alex Verrey, the company's spokesman. And Mad Catz plans to stay in and expand their fight stick line, already announcing new sticks for Super Street Fighter IV and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom.
The other area of they are looking into is specialized controllers for specific games. When Modern Warfare 2 came out the company rolled out a line of products that included controllers and even a throat mic. That's the sort of thing we will be seeing more of moving forward, Verrey said.
"You have to look at that on a game-by-game basis," he said. "We have looked at big games before and we have looked at ways we can collaborate, we just haven't found the right product. Long gone are the days when we are prepared to release a generic joypad with a sticker on it or a logo on it and ship it out. We will be seeing less of that and more specialty controllers, game specific products that we actually collaborate on with the developers. That was true with Capcom and with Modern Warfare 2 also."
"We are not prepared to skimp on product. We only have finite resources. We have a lot going on," Verrey said. "We are NOT doing a Toobin' controller. We won't be making a Super Hang-On controller or replica F-16s."