Razer co-founder and gaming mouse pioneer Robert Krakoff has died
Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, the co-founder and former president of gaming hardware company Razer, died last week at the age of 81. legacy.
In 1999, Krakoff was behind the very first gaming mouse: the Razer Boomslang. Not only was it the foundation of Razer’s now massive line of gaming mice, but it arguably kickstarted the entire gaming peripheral industry. Below you can see Krakoff himself in a advertisement promoting the Razer Boomslang mouse in 2002 – alongside professional gamer Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, who signed a landmark sponsorship deal with Razer long before the word “esports” entered the lexicon.
Origin stories can be complicated, and Razer’s history is more complicated than most. Razer wasn’t really a the society until 2005 – it was the trademark of an entity called Kärna, which had invented an opto-mechanical encoder wheel capable of tracking the movements of a mouse at 2000 dpi, a much higher resolution than others mouse at the time. (Yes, the first gaming mouse rolled over wheelseven if optical mice became a thing.)
Kärna went bankrupt in 2001 and Krakoff co-founded Razer the company with current CEO Min-Liang Tan in 2005, but neither man invented the gaming mouse: This case study (pdf) details how an agency marketing company named Fitch created all the Razer brandincluding the name, the iconic three-headed serpent logo, website, packaging and, most importantly, the design and engineering of the Boomslang mouse itself.
None of this is disputed: Razer’s first press release states that the Boomslang was “designed by Fitch, Inc. for kärna”.
But he also cites a “Robert Krakoff, Chief Executive Officer of Razer” – who would not only become the public face of the company for its first decade and change, but would make an incredible impression as one of the most accessible public faces. from a company. could ever have the pleasure of knowing.
You would have a little message from Razerguy with every Razer product you purchased, and his public email address wasn’t just for show. He was known for responding to fans and sitting down for interviews with rambling reporters that barely had a following. Sometimes he gave them work. According to his Facebook page, he himself studied journalism at UCLA, although he did so on a football scholarship.
He was also remarkably candid: in 2009, he told me, to Sean, an equally unknown reporter, that the company didn’t actually need to sell a single unit of its brand new Razer Mamba Wireless Mouse at the price then extortionate $130. . The goal, he said, was to inspire a broad audience of gamers with the innovation, knowing they would choose other, less expensive mice and merchandise from Razer.
A known left-hander, he also told me that he wanted Razer to be able to make a left-handed mouse, but he didn’t have the power as president of the company to make it happen – the board had apparently decided it didn’t make financial sense. A year later, I smiled when I saw Razer release the first left-handed gaming mouse, a mirror-image version of its best-selling DeathAdder.
While Krakoff still advised the company for years as “Chairman Emeritus,” Razer wasn’t his last act by far. He also founded MindFX Science, a brand that focuses on selling energy drinks and supplements, serving as “a healthy alternative to high caffeinated energy drinks and pre-workout products.”
Fitness seemed to be an important part of Krakoff’s life. He played for the Los Angeles Rams for five years in the 1960s. As he got older, Krakoff said he enjoyed playing tennis, riding his bike, and working out. He and his wife, Dr. Patsi Krakoff, even run a blog focusing on fitness and nutrition tips for seniors, and co-wrote a book on secrets to staying young.
But under the name RM Krakoff he also had a literary career of his own – writing a dozen books since 2009. After working as a copywriter, Krakoff said he “put his proverbial pen where his mouth was (the ink tasted like shit).” He dabbled in both fiction and non-fiction writing, writing everything from dark comedies to sci-fi fantasies. His description of America Unbound: Fighting Demons in a Vanished Democracy is a lot.
On Krakoff’s Facebook page, he said he would split his time between Jalisco, Mexico and Peoria, Arizona because he loved being “a bird of the sun and spending six months a year in each house.” He leaves behind two children, Scott and Robin, and five “very cool” grandchildren. Scott contributed cover art to most of her novels.
“We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Robert Krakoff, known to all as RazerGuy,” read a statement from Razer. on Twitter. “Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for the game lives on and continues to inspire us all.”
We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Robert Krakoff, known to all as RazerGuy. Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for the game lives on and continues to inspire us all.
Thank you Rob, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/2HKNcFaOj2
— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) April 28, 2022
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