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Mad Catz lays off 37% of staff in restructuring plan

Mad Catz lays off 37% of staff in restructuring plan

February 9, 2016 | By Christian Nutt

Today embattled video game peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz announced steep staff cuts as part of a restructuring plan aimed at bolstering its business. The company has let go of 37 percent of its staff in a company-wide layoff.

This comes in the wake of an announcement yesterday that many of its top executives -- company president and CEO Darren Richardson, senior VP of business affairs Whitney Peterson and company chairman Thomas Brown -- had resigned.

The company says that the cuts will save $5 million dollars a year beginning from the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, which commences April 1, 2016.

The company's sales were actually up 114 percent year-on-year, to $65.0 million, for its third quarter 2016 (the three months ended December 31, 2015.) Sales of "specialty controllers" leapt up as a proportion of company sales for that period, thanks to Rock Band 4. Mad Catz partnered with developer Harmonix to provide the official peripherals for the game, which launched in October 2015.

That isn't necessarily good news, though: "... 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," president and CEO Karen McGinnis said in a statement alongside its results. The company also experienced low demand for its audio and PC products, and decreasing sales in European and Asian regions. 

Update: An earlier version of this story said that Mad Catz would be laying off 63 percent of its staff; that's the proportion the company plans to retain. Gamasutra regrets the error.

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