Harmonix is no longer working with Mad Catz for Rock Band‘s plastic inputs. Instead, they’ve partnered with a company known as PDP.
One of the biggest pieces of news regarding the rebirth of Rock Band last year with Rock Band 4 was that Harmonix was teaming up with Mad Catz for hardware. Mad Catz is one of the world’s leading companies for gaming inputs, so this set up the potential for a dynamic relationship between the best music game with the best hardware company.
That’s not really how things panned out. Rock Band 4 was good, and the Mad Catz hardware was great as well. The problem was that the game really didn’t sell well, and Mad Catz has since suffered some losses.
News has now come from Harmonix regarding an end of their relationship with Mad Catz and a new relationship with Performance Designed Products, or PDP. Harmonix doesn’t really discuss moving away from Mad Catz in their statement so much as highlight the quality of PDP. Here’s Steve Janiak, Harmonix CEO.
“As we look to fully achieve our goal of creating this console generation’s category-defining music gaming platform, we need to partner with a truly world-class manufacturer that can operate at the scale that Rock Band requires. PDP has a well-deserved reputation for innovation, customer satisfaction, and quality. They have the logistical and technical expertise to support Harmonix’s ambitious plans for the future of Rock Band, with new hardware alongside a major Rock Band 4 feature update coming this Fall.”
So, there’s that. We’re getting new Rock Band hardware this fall. The only real jab at Mad Catz is a subtle one, and it comes from the “we need to partner with a truly world-class manufacturer” bit, suggesting that their previous relationship didn’t meet that need.
Will a hardware change really help here? I’m not so sure. I think it’s the musical genre that’s fallen on hard times, not so much which companies make the guitars. We’ll see how this move plays out down the line.