Logitech announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Saitek company, which primarily makes game controllers for simulation games. It appears that the computer peripheral vendor is betting on the game segment in an age where everybody in the industry is raving about virtual reality (VR).
Logitech has explained that Saitek has a cult following among hard core gamers, particularly those playing Elite: Dangerous, Eve: Valkyrie, Star Citizen and Microsoft Flight Simulator, among others. The company sees an opportunity in this supposedly growing market, pointing out that some titles are already VR-enabled.
"Whether you're into driving, flying or exploring space, there are fresh new titles available and more to come," Logitech said in an official statement. "Some of these titles are even VR enabled and we believe that dedicated controllers will stimulate and enhance the total VR experience."
The acquisition cost Logitech $13 million and would probably contribute in leveraging the company's push to tap the sim-style gaming market. For instance, Logitech cites how it could augment the current stable of peripherals it builds under its high-performance gaming Logitech G portfolio, which includes an array of gaming wheels for driving sims. Saitek's products include military grade space and flight joysticks, flight yoke and instrument panels, among others. The company also makes a VR controller for its X-56 advanced control flight system.
There are those, however, who have doubts about Logitech's latest acquisition. These observers cite that Saitek has been acquired by Mad Catz for $30 million back in 2007. The significant drop in valuation since then is being attributed to the deteriorating quality of Saitek devices. Certainly, the Saitek sale is expected to line up Mad Catz pockets especially as the company has been recently experiencing difficult time and declining profit. It is unclear how these issues will affect Logitech, which has so far refrained from addressing this issue.
Whatever the case is, the Saitek acquisition is aligned with the robust expansion of Logitech's product line in the past few years. Early this year alone the company also bought Jaybird, the wearable and sport headphone manufacturer. This means that, from the basic computing peripherals such as mice and keyboards, it is now involved in pro-gaming gear and — through Saitek — high end simulation hardware.
Prior to the acquisition, Saitek has been developing a custom controller for the soon-to-be-released Star Citizen game. This is the highly anticipated crowd-funded project of Chris Roberts, who also developed Wing Commander and Freelancer. It is not yet clear whether Logitech will decide to put a lid on the project.