Mad Catz has been synonymous with third party controllers and add-ons since they were founded in 1989. Despite a decade of making what some would call sub-par hardware, including one Gamecube controller that turns my thumb black, they had seemingly changed their reputation. Their improvements started way back in the early 2000s and eventually would become Capcom’s official arcade stick and Harmonix’s Rock Band peripheral manufacturer. Even with these improvements Mad Catz may be in trouble that is beyond fixing.
Mad Catz allowed an independent auditor go over the company’s financials recently and in an open letter wrote that Mad Catz’s ability to pay off its current debts are a “going concern”. This means the company may be unable to keep paying off those debts and could default on their loans. If Mad Catz can’t meet the requirements of their loan then the lender, Wells Fargo, can immediately call in all owed debt and any interest owed. Since then Mad Catz has secured additional funding that would pay off Wells Fargo but still leave the company in debt.
Everything considered Mad Catz needs Rock Band 4, the upcoming music game they’re co-publishing with Harmonix, to succeed and meet current expectations. Not exactly the most hopeful situation to be in for a twenty six year old company to be in. Harmonix has mentioned that Rock Band 4 will have a long DLC life, longer than previous titles, that would essentially replace the need for constant sequels. However there’s no telling if the market is willing to invest in plastic controllers all over again until the sales figures come out. It’d be terribly sad to see a company like Mad Catz fail after so long and after coming so far.
If you want to read full statements from Mad Catz and a more in-depth assessment check out the Game Informer article that first reported this story.