A good controller can really make or break a gaming experience, and Logitech is working to expand the breadth of its controller offerings. The company just acquired Saitek and its line of line of flight, farm and space simulation game controllers.
Logitech offers three reasons for the acquisition. First, according to Logitech, “these products are just great.” Saitek products are the “go-to’s” for games such as Elite Dangerous, Eve Valkyrie, Star Citizen, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Farm Simulator. Logitech claims that they have even see Saitek fans in their own forums.
Second, Logitech believes that “simulation games are cool and getting cooler”. Many recent simulation games are VR-enabled. The company argues that dedicated simulation controllers will enhance the VR experience.
Third, Logitech is simply “excited to be a bigger part of the simulation community”. The company notes that they already create gaming wheels, but Saitek’s offerings will expand their place in the simulation marketplace. Logitech claims that they want to make fans proud and provide the ultimate simulation experience.
Saitek is an electronics designer and manufacturer that was founded by Swiss technologist Eric Winkler in 1979. The company is best known for the PC gaming controllers, particularly their analogue flight controllers such as joysticks, throttles, and rudder pedals. Saitek was acquired by video game developer Mad Catz in September 2007 for $30 million USD.
Mad Catz started to encounter financial problems in 2015. The company designed the controller for Rock Band 3 and Rock Band 4. Unfortunately the “Rock Band sell-through was lower than originally forecast resulting in higher inventory balances as well as lower margins due to increased promotional activity with retailers.”
Mad Catz announced this past February that they would lay off 37% of its workforce and shortly after several important company members resigned. Logitech’s acquisition of Saitek was therefore likely motivated as much by Mad Catz’s financial failures as much as Logitech’s desire to increase their presence in the simulation market. Logitech purchased Saitek for $13 million USD in cash which is significantly less than Mad Catz’s original purchase price.