The gamble that was Rock Band 4 has ended in the worst possible way for Mad Catz.
Two years ago the video games world was taken by surprise when it was announced the longstanding peripherals specialist Mad Catz was to assume publishing duties on the rhythm action title’s comeback.
Later that yeah the company was full of hope, telling MCV that 2015 would be the year that Rock Band finally cracks Europe and that the success would be the catalyst for significant growth for Mad Catz.
However, it has been apparent for a while now that the Rock Band 4 decision had been catastrophic for the company, and now the end has come, with Mad Catz filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The entire company is being liquidated.
"Regrettably and notwithstanding that for a significant amount of time the Company has been actively pursuing its strategic alternatives, including various near term financing alternatives such as bank financing and equity infusions, as well as potential sales of certain assets of the Company or a sale of the Company in its entirety, the Company has been unable to find a satisfactory solution to its cash liquidity problems," president and CEO Karen McGinnis said.
"The Board of Directors and management would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Company's employees in support of its business, especially during the time that the Company faced financial difficulties. The Company would also like to thank the vendors and professional service providers who have supported the Company's efforts during this time."
Even before Mad Catz’s optimistic rhetoric had stopped, the signs were looking bad.
In the summer of 2015 a debt warning led to auditor KPMG admitting that it had “substantial doubt” that the company could continue as a going concern, although Mad Catz firmly refuted the claims. Seven months later the entire senior staff stepped down ahead of the publication of its earnings report.
Layoffs quickly followed, and the following month Mad Catz was dropped by the game altogether, with publishing duties switching to PDP. By the summer of 2016 it became clear that Mad Catz needed to urgently sell its hardware stockpiles, saying that it had wildly overestimated demand for Rock Band 4 and describing its partnership as “disappointing”.
MCV wishes those affected the very best of luck.