Robert Krakow, co-founder of Razer and pioneer of the gaming mouse, has passed away

Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, co-founder and former president of gaming hardware company Razer, passed away last week at the age of 81. You’ve probably never heard of Krakoff, but you’ve likely been touched by his far-reaching legacy.

In 1999, Krakoff was behind the first ever gaming mouse: Boomslang Scanner. Not only was this the basis of Razer’s massive lineup of gaming mice, it could be said that it launched the entire gaming peripheral industry. Below, you can watch Krakoff himself in an ad promoting the Razer Boomslang mouse in 2002 — along with professional player Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, who signed a historic sponsorship agreement with Razer long before the word “esports” entered the lexicon.

Origin stories can be complex, and Razer’s story is more complex than most. It wasn’t actually Razer company Until 2005 – it was a registered trademark of an entity called Karna, who invented an optical-mechanical encoder wheel that could track mouse movements at a resolution of 2,000 dpi, a much higher resolution than other mice of the time. (Yes, the first gaming mouse rolled on Wheelsalthough optical mice have become a thing.)

Karna went bankrupt in 2001Krakow co-founded Razer with current CEO Min-Liang Tan in 2005, but neither man invented the gaming mouse: This case study (pdf) It details how I set up a marketing agency called Fitch The entire Razer brandincluding the name, the iconic three-headed python logo, website, packaging, and most importantly, the design and engineering of the Boomslang Mouse itself.

None of this is indisputable: Razer’s first press release He says Boomslang was “designed by Fitch, Inc. for kärna.”

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cross shot Internet Archive

But he also quotes “Robert Krakow, General Manager of Razer” – who will not only become the public face of the company during its first decade and change, but makes an incredible impression as one of the most accessible public faces of a company you might be pleased to know.

You will receive a small message from Razerguy With every Razer product I purchased, their public email address wasn’t just for show. He was known to respond to fans and Sit down to interview arrogant journalists who barely had followers. sometimes He would give them jobs. According to his Facebook page, he studied journalism at UCLA himself, although he did so on a soccer scholarship.

He’s also been remarkably candid: In 2009, Shaun, a similarly unknown journalist, told me the company didn’t actually need to sell a single unit of the new Razer Mamba wireless mouse at its then-expensive price of $130. . The goal, he said, is to inspire a large audience of gamers with innovation, knowing that they will choose mice and other merchandise that are cheaper than Razer.

He also told me, as a known left-hander, that he wished Razer could make a left-handed mouse, but he didn’t have the authority as the company’s president to make it happen — the board apparently decided it didn’t make financial sense. A year later, I smiled when I saw the launch of Razer The first left-handed gaming mousea replica of the bestselling DeathAdder.

While Krakow has been advising the company for years as a “chief emeritus,” Razer isn’t his last act with a slight margin. also founded MindFX ScienceA brand focused on selling energy drinks and nutritional supplements, they serve as a “healthy alternative to high-caffeine energy drinks and pre-workout products.”

Fitness seemed to be an important part of Krakow’s life. he is I played with the Los Angeles Rams For five years in the sixties. As he gets older, Krakow said he loves playing tennis, cycling and fitness training. He and his wife, Dr. Patsy Krakow, even escaped Blog Focus on fitness and nutrition advice for seniors, and co-author of a book on Secrets of staying young.

But under the name RM Krakoffhe also had his own literary career – authoring dozens of books Since 2009. After working as a copywriter, Krakow said He “put his proverbial pen in the place of his mouth (ink tasted like shit)”. Engaged in both fiction and nonfiction writing, writing everything from black comedy to science fiction fantasies. recipe for America Unbound: Fighting Demons in a Hidden Democracy he is… Many.

employment Facebook Krakow Page, said he would split his time between Jalisco, Mexico, and Peoria, Arizona, where he enjoyed being “a sunbird and spending six months a year in every home.” He left behind two children, Scott and Robin, and five “very adorable” grandchildren. Scott contributed cover art to most of his novels.

“We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Robert Krakow, known to all as RazerGuy,” a statement from Razer reads. on Twitter. “Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for gaming continue to inspire us all and continue to inspire us.”

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