Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff’s legacy is how the gaming mouse maverick lifted others up

Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff, a gaming industry pioneer who co-founded Razer and created the Razer Boomslang gaming mouse that started a revolution in gaming peripherals, died last week. He was 81 years old.

The news was shared by Razer via Twitter and Razer’s website. The statement reads: “We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Robert Krakoff, known to all as RazerGuy. Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for gaming endures and continues to drive us inspire all.

“Thank you Rob, you will be missed.”

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Krakoff created the world’s first gaming mouse, the Razer Boomslang, in 1999, which paved the way for dedicated gaming devices beyond the simple joysticks and handheld controllers that preceded it and cemented the brand’s reputation. Razer to PC gamers.

Krakoff himself was well known and respected, if not loved, by the wider community, and as PC Gamer notes, the news of his passing was greeted with sadness by gaming industry veterans who knew Krakoff personally. – many have encountered it when they were starting out. in a completely unknown industry.

“Nobody would talk to us. Nobody,” writes Jerry Paxton, founder and editor of GamingShogun. “As a young gamer, I always had my Boomslang gaming mouse, so I thought about contacting Razer. It was long I thought, but I took a chance.

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“After so many people rejected us, and others just didn’t want to talk to us, I received a personal email from Robert ‘RazerGuy’ Krakoff himself. He took the time to get to know us. , even sent us products to review, and made us on the company’s press release list.”

Krakoff is survived by his wife, two children and five grandchildren.

Opinion: I’ve never met RazerGuy, but I’m really glad many others have

Since working in the tech industry, I’ve ignored more PR requests than I can count. When I attended my first CES as a freelance journalist, I made the rookie mistake of using my personal email to register with the CTA for media credentials and my box. reception never recovered.

Even now, I watch the number of unread e-mails grow ever-increasing, like the National Debt counter in Union Square in New York, knowing that in my lifetime I will never be able to read a fraction of what I have already left unread, forget everything that happens to me tomorrow and every day thereafter.

But Paxton’s story remains etched in my memory. In 2005, Razer was booming. Competitors had smelled a new market and were flooding the area with new products, and the tech media had matured enough that Razer was absolutely inundated with unsolicited work, media inquiries, and resumes.

What prompted the co-founder of this booming tech company to take the time to open an email that, in 2005, would have been indistinguishable from spam (that was years before inbox filters become commonplace) and answer them, we may never know. That he responded to Paxton is incredible. Not because Paxton wasn’t important enough to talk to him, but that so few people, myself included, remember that newcomers like Paxton are important enough to talk about.

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Many people talk about Krakoff’s kindness in the wake of his passing, and it’s a rare trait among founders in the tech industry. Sure, they donate a lot of money to charity, but you can’t undo giving someone a chance in the industry, and several people, like Red Bull’s senior esports director Travis Wannlund, personally credit Krakoff with their careers.

We all have those people in our careers who gave us our start. I remember mine. Too often we forget to be that person for someone else, and more than anything, I hope that’s the lesson we learn from RazerGuy’s passing. RIP to a real one.

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