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Mad Catz tells investors it needs Rock Band 4 to be a hit

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Mad Catz is looking to Rock Band 4 to help it stabilize a financial situation that could have seen a bank calling in a $20 million loan, closing down the company.

One of the longest-tenured makers of gamepads, arcade sticks and other accessories, Mad Catz had to notify investors that its dependence on sales from Rock Band 4, which it is co-publishing with Harmonix, "raise substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

A Mad Catz executive, in comments to Game Informer, said the company was required by securities law to make the notification and could not alter its language, adding that the reality of the situation is less dire.

Still, Mad Catz has posted operating losses going back to 2011 and last month, it failed to make enough money under its credit agreement with Wells Fargo. That could have resulted in the bank calling in the loan, but the two sides renegotiated a new deal, providing Mad Catz with $35 million, which it needs to ship Rock Band 4.

Headquartered in San Diego, Mad Catz has made video gaming peripherals since 1989. Mad Catz was already developing new controllers for Rock Band 4 when both it and Harmonix announced their co-publishing agreement back in April.

Preorders for the game began in mid-June (not in time, Mad Catz said, to help it avoid the credit agreement problem). The game and a new guitar will retail for $129.99; the game and a full band kit (guitar, drums and microphone) is $249.99.

Rock Band 4 will come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year, and it will be compatible with old instruments used with those consoles' predecessors. For more, see Polygon's hands-on previews of the game from E3 2015.

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