When it comes to arcade sticks, there’s no other peripheral company that has had a larger impact than Mad Catz. Starting with the release of their original Street Fighter IV-branded Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition, Mad Catz has been a constant presence within the fighting game community, supporting both players and events–while also providing hardware.
While Mad Catz did see success with their fighting game products, the company has struggled as of late, especially after the seeming failure of their peripheral line for Rock Band 4. They were just recently delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Unable to recover from their financial woes, Mad Catz has now made a voluntary assignment in bankruptcy. As part of this, the company will cease operations and their entire board of directors has resigned as of March 30. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed to handle Mad Catz’s assets as their trustee.
Mad Catz’s original Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition was a game-changer when it launched alongside Street Fighter IV back in 2009; prior to its release, players looking for an arcade stick with genuine arcade parts would either have to build a custom stick, or look for a rare limited-edition retail stick (HORI’s Real Arcade Pro line only had arcade-standard buttons in the limited SA and SE variants). With the release of the “TE,” companies such as HORI (and later Qanba and Razer) had to step their game up to match, and offer arcade sticks with full arcade-quality parts as standard.
This increased availability allowed for a boom in the arcade stick modding and building community. A small cottage industry sprang up around modifications for the TE–and eventually, other top-of-the-line arcade sticks as well. At the same time, custom builders–freed from having to make everyday arcade sticks–now moved on to making true “premium” sticks that are as much works of art as they are video game controllers.
In addition to this, Mad Catz was one of the first companies to start sponsoring players, including legends such as Kenryo “Mago” Hayashi, Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi, and of course, Daigo Umehara. In addition to this, they also helped sponsor other players via other teams such as Ho Kun Xian as part of Team Desperation Move, and Ryan Hart as part of Western Wolves.
We here at Shoryuken would like to thank Mad Catz for all they’ve done for the fighting game community.