Mad Catz Interactive, at one time largely a manufacturer of video game peripherals, has entered into an agreement with Microsoft to become a licensed game publisher for Xbox software in North America and Europe. The company had previously experimented with game co-publishing through other partnerships, such as its venture with Mastiff Games to distribute Mad Catz dance mat bundled title Pump It Up: Exceed
for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
The first game to come out of the new arrangement will be Slugger
, developed by FarSight to use the new In2Games-licensed Gametrak system, which is a motion sensor also used in the company's similarly licensed PlayStation 2 golf title Real World Golf
, which allows the player to use a real bat in gameplay, will come bundled with the Realtrak device for $69.99 upon its release.
"This agreement is very significant for Mad Catz since it marks the first time we'll publish software for the Xbox console," said Mad Catz president and CEO Darren Richardson. "It is an important element in our strategy to publish games to be used in conjunction with our game-specific accessories and adds new revenue streams to leverage our existing infrastructure."
In a similar way to RedOctane's publishing of Guitar Hero
this year, Mad Catz's diversification clearly includes manufacturing peripherals and bundling own-published games with them. Mad Catz itself most recently
announced a reduced profit, citing an "increasingly competitive U.S. market" for peripherals, and then terminating its minimum purchase agreement
for the GameShark cheat code device, apparently due to relative lack of demand for the device.