Mad Catz was totally not about Guitar Hero, before the company knew how popular it would be.
Guitar Hero is a sort of popular series that has sold millions of copies and generated billions of dollars at retail. You can't take a step in any direction nowadays without hearing about some kid that thinks he's a hot potato for playing whatever ungodly song on expert. In what could be considered one of the biggest "oopsies" of all time, peripheral manufacturer and distributor Mad Catz actually paid to distance itself from the franchise.
Not just chump change either, Mad Catz paid a smooth $300,000. I know what you're thinking: "How could a company be such a silly goose?" Simply, Guitar Hero was an unexpected success when it was released exclusively for the PS2 back in 2005. Mad Catz was involved " early on" and "pulled out because of a lawsuit with Konami," Mad Catz president and CEO Darren Richardson told Kotaku.
Konami was annoyed at the similarity of Guitar Hero to its own GuitarFreaks, which was entertaining crowds somewhat in arcades. Rather than deal with what Mad Catz must have seen as a legal debacle, it paid to get out of its responsibilities to create the Xbox version of Guitar Hero. And that, my friends, is why Guitar Hero was never available on the Xbox.
Richardson went on to say:
Everyone else made hundreds of millions and we paid money to not be a part of it. It was brilliant. I come up with these strokes of genius from time to time. That was my best.
I'm no Mad Catz devotee, but you really have to feel bad for this guy. Not only did the company miss out on potentially trillions of rubles, but also paid for the priviledge. GuitarFreaks wasn't exactly blowing down the charts, so it may have seemed like the smartest move to Mad Catz at the time. It still has to be tough to sleep at night with this decision on the books, when your bed is a regular old mattress and not a giant pile of money.