|Traded as||TSX: MCZ
NYSE MKT: MCZ
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Headquarters||San Diego, California|
|Key people||Darren Richardson|
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. is an American worldwide provider of interactive entertainment products marketed under its Mad Catz and GameShark (gaming products), TRITTON (audio products) and Saitek (simulation) brands. Mad Catz develops flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios, develops flight simulation and chess hardware under its Saitek brand, publishes games under its Mad Catz brand, and distributes games and videogame products for third-party partners. Mad Catz has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson described it as "a company that consists primarily of hardcore gamers."
Mad Catz was established in 1989 to design, manufacture, and bring to market products for the emerging video game industry, then dominated by precursory Sega and Nintendo home consoles. The company focused on accessories such as control pads, memory cards, connection cables, headphones and other human interface devices for PC and various video game consoles. Mad Catz also published original software titles, such as Real World Golf 1 and 2, MC Groovz Dance Craze, and Pump It Up.
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. was incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act on August 25, 1993. The company was acquired in 2000 by the Toronto-based GTR Group, Inc. for a purchase cost of US$33.3 million, along with Games Trader (which collected and sold previously played and republished games) and ZapYou.com (which focused on e-commerce solutions).
In 2000, Mad Catz released the MC2 Racing Wheel for the Sony PlayStation, which was awarded the Golden Award by Incite Video Gaming Magazine, and the Mario Andretti Racing Wheel, which GameSpy judged as the best peripheral of the 2000 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company produced 12 licensed controllers for the launch of the Sega Dreamcast and also released Internet-related accessories such as the Panther DC and keyboard adapter.
In September 2001, GTR Group decided to capitalize on the strength of the Mad Catz brand and changed its corporate name to Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., closing its GamesTrader and ZapYou.com business units. The year 2001 saw the release of Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Mad Catz offered products for these launches, such as the Control Pad Pro for GameCube, the Lynx Control Pad and the BeatPad (dancepad) controller for the PlayStation 2, the Game Boy FlipLight, and memory cards for the Xbox.
In January 2003, Mad Catz acquired the GameShark brand, described as "the industry leader in video game enhancement software, [enabling] players to take full advantage of the secret codes, short cuts, hints and cheats incorporated by video game publishers into their game offerings," and associated intellectual properties from InterAct for USD$5 million.
In September 2007, Mad Catz aacquired UK-based company Joytech for USD$3.7 million. In November 2007, Mad Catz further diversified into the videogame accessory market by acquiring European-based manufacturer Saitek for USD$30 million.
In 2008, Capcom commissioned Mad Catz to produce a limited number of ArcadeSticks and six-button controllers, branded as “FightSticks” and “FightPads,” to coincide with the launch of their Street Fighter IV fighting game. Due to the unanticipated demand for these products, production on these controllers was ramped up from their originally limited numbers. The FightStick remains a mainstay of the Mad Catz product line. In 2008, the FightStick's popularity spurred Mad Catz' involvement in the pro-gaming community, and Mad Catz has a strong presence at shows such as EVO, PAX, and San Diego Comic-Con. In 2009, Mad Catz released licensed controllers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
In 2010, Mad Catz released officially licensed controllers for Rock Band 3, including a keyboard controller, a microphone controller, drum kits, and two guitar controllers (both the familiar five-button and the Fender Mustang “Pro” 102-button guitar). That same year, Mad Catz acquired TRITTON Technologies, a San Diego-based gaming audio headset firm, in May 2010 for USD$1 million at closing. In June 2010, Mad Catz announced an agreement with Major League Gaming (MLG) granting the company exclusive global license to use MLG’s marks in connection with MLG products developed pursuant to the agreement. Mad Catz also announced that it will sponsor MLG Pro Circuit Competitions.
In 2011, Mad Catz’ Cyborg-branded R.A.T.7 Gaming Mouse was named “Best PC Accessory of 2010” by IGN. The company returned to software distribution by publishing Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge, Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII (a WWII flight simulation game with a custom joystick), and Rock Band 3. Mad Catz acquired certain assets of V Max Simulation Corporation, which designs, constructs, integrates and operates flight simulation equipment and develops flight simulation software.
Mad Catz has continued its focus on peripherals and accessories, such as the range of R.A.T. gaming mice and TRITTON-branded gaming headsets. In January 2013, Mad Catz announced its "GameSmart" initiative, a range of products using the Bluetooth Smart stack featuring game and hardware independence, simplified setup, longer battery life and universal compatibility. Announced products include the R.A.T.M Wireless Mobile Gaming Mouse, the F.R.E.Q.M Mobile Stereo Headset, M.O.U.S.9 Wireless Mouse, and the C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad. The "GameSmart" initiative is intended to introduce an industry standardization to the mobile world.
In June 2013, Mad Catz announced the M.O.J.O. Android Micro Console, described as "a supercharged smart phone with no screen that plugs into your flat screen TV to bring the living room experience to mobile gaming." M.O.J.O. is designed to interact seamlessly with Mad Catz's GameSmart controllers, mice, keyboards, headsets, and the rest of its gaming peripherals. In July 2013, Mad Catz announced that it will produce the Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2, the first fighting game controller available for the Xbox One, the latest Microsoft gaming console, that started shipping in late November 2013, just in timefor the 2013 holiday shopping season.
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- Official Mad Catz website
- Official TRITTON website
- Official SAITEK website
- Official Combat Pilot website
- Official GameShark store