Gaming Mouse Pioneer And Razer Co-Founder Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff Dead At 81

Gaming Mouse Pioneer And Razer Co-Founder Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff Dead At 81
Image: Razer

Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff, the co-founder of peripheral maker Razer and pioneer of the gaming mouse, has died at 81.

Krakoff’s passing was announced via Razer’s social media channels earlier this morning. He died on April 26th, 2022.

‘We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Robert Krakoff, known by everyone as RazerGuy,’ reads Razer’s statement. ‘Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for gaming lives on and continues to inspire us all.’

Krakoff was one of the minds behind the first-ever gaming mouse, the Razer BoomSlang, in 1999. It would become the foundation of Razer’s peripheral range today. The BoomSlang would also open the door to a gaming peripheral cottage industry that would grow to dominate the market in the two decades that followed. Razer would not become a fully-fledged company until 2005 when Krakoff became co-founder with current CEO Min-Liang Tan.

If Krakoff’s name is familiar, it’s because you’ve likely owned a Razer product before. For years, Krakoff ensured every Razer product would ship with a special message from ‘RazerGuy’ inside. Krakoff maintained a public-facing Razer email address and did his best to respond to everyone that sent him correspondence. People who emailed Krakoff would occasionally find themselves with a job at Razer because he vouched for them.

He was known for being uncommonly candid, telling The Verge’s Sean Hollister early in his career that the company didn’t need to sell its then-new Mamba gaming mouse at a high RRP, and that the goal was to prod customers into buying its cheaper mice instead. He would take almost any interview with even the smallest outlets, whether it benefited him or not.

Left-handed and often bemoaning his inability to create mice for left-handed gamers, Krakoff eventually convinced the company to produce a left-handed version of its popular DeathAdder mouse.

In his later years, Krakoff became a writer, churning out several novels across sci-fi and fantasy, political thrillers, and non-fiction.

In an industry that cloaks itself in a truly absurd level of secrecy, Krakoff was an open book. That was and will remain remarkable. Vale.

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