By Brad Chacos
Corsair’s insatiable hunger for gaming growth continues. On Monday, it announced plans to purchase Scuf, a company that specializes in high-performance gaming controllers beloved by gamers. This latest deal follows Corsair’s acquisitions of Elgato and Origin PC, two other enthusiast PC companies with established fan bases and a reputation for impeccable hardware.
Scuf’s no-compromises controllers existed long before Microsoft’s Xbox Elite series and Astro’s C40, and like Origin’s computers, they focus on customization, drawing inspiration from sources as far-ranging as astroturf and Forza. Here’s how the press release sums it up, and we’d agree:
“In comparison to generic game controllers, SCUF controllers are modular by feature and design, built to specification to shorten hand movements and gain a measurable performance advantage, making it easier for players to tailor the controller to their individual preferences. SCUF controllers feature a vast range of configurable components, including a patented paddle control system, removable back paddles, a quick-access remapping switch, customizable thumbsticks, hair trigger, trigger stops and extenders, choice of D-pads, and an interchangeable magnetic faceplate.”
Scuf controllers are great, full stop. And by the end of December, they’ll be part of Corsair, though Scuf will remain a separate brand with its own headquarters in Atlanta.
So why is Corsair gobbling up beloved enthusiast brands left and right?
“I think we’d like to dominate the entire planet, and the first step is acquiring a bunch of smaller companies. Much like bacteria, we just kind of grow,” Corsair director of marketing George Makris joked on PCWorld’s Full Nerd podcast in September, when I asked him why the company’s on such a mammoth spree in the wake of the Origin PC buyout. But more seriously, Makris explained how the company has continued to expand its scope to deliver hardware it thinks it can do better than anybody else, and sometimes, that means bringing proven experts in-house.
“When you actually get down into the weeds on it, we could do this ourselves, start from scratch, hire a bunch of guys, and spend five years doing it—or you could just buy Elgato,” he said, referring to that acquisition. “They did nothing we do, and we do nothing they do, so they just added to everything we do. There wasn’t any duplication of effort. It’s not like they had an entire case division where we had to decide whose case is going to get on the roadmap. They had streaming stuff. We have PC performance stuff. It was a perfect complement.”
The same line of thinking no doubt applies to Scuf, as well. Corsair’s building itself quite an empire. To hear everything Makris had to say about Corsair’s mindset when it comes to building a computing juggernaut, jump ahead to the 1:10:30 mark in the episode of The Full Nerd below. It’s fascinating—and illuminating.
This story, “Corsair adds Scuf’s beloved enthusiast-grade gaming controllers to its growing empire” was originally published by
Senior editor Brad Chacos covers gaming and graphics for PCWorld, and runs the morning news desk for PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot, and TechHive. He tweets too.
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