Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff, co-founder and former chairman of gaming hardware company Razer, died last week at the age of 81. You may have never heard of Krakoff’s name, but it’s possible that you’ve been influenced by his far-flung-reaching legacy.
In 1999, Krakoff was behind the first gaming mouse: the Razer Boomslang. Not only was it the foundation of Razer’s now-massive lineup of gaming mice, it arguably jumpstarted the entire gaming peripheral industry. Below, you can see Krakoff in an ad promoting the Razer Boomslang mouse in 2002—along with professional gamer Jonathan “Fatal1T” Wendell, who had a historic sponsorship with Razer long before the word “esports” entered the lexicon. The deal was signed.
Origin stories can be complicated, and Razor’s story is more complicated than most. Razor wasn’t really company Until 2005 – it was the trademarked brand of an entity called Karn, which had invented an opto-mechanical encoding wheel that could track mouse movements at 2000 dpi, a far higher resolution than other mice of the time . (Yes, the first gaming mouse rolled up wheelsEven if optical mice are becoming a thing.)
Karn went bankrupt in 2001, and Krakoff co-founded Razer with current CEO Min-Liang Tan in 2005, but neither of them invented the gaming mouse: as described in this case study (PDF) That’s how a marketing agency called Fitch created complete razor brandIncluding the name, the iconic three-headed snake logo, website, packaging, and most importantly, the design and engineering of the Boomslang mouse.
None of this is in dispute: Razer’s first press release stated that Boomslang was “designed by Fitch, Inc. for Karna.”
Razerzone.com in 1999. Screenshot via Internet Archive
But it also quotes “Robert Krakoff, Razer’s general manager”—who would become not only the company’s public face for its first decade and so of transformation, but an indelible influence as one of the company’s most accessible public faces. Will put Knowing can always be a pleasure.
You need Razerguy. will receive a short message from As with every Razer product you’ve bought, and its public email address wasn’t just for show. He was known to answer fans and sit down for interviews with sneaky journalists who barely had a following. Sometimes he would give them jobs. According to his Facebook page, he himself studied journalism at UCLA, although he did so on a football scholarship.
He was also remarkably outspoken: in 2009, he told me, Sean, a similarly anonymous journalist, that the company really needed to sell a single unit of its brand-new Razer Mamba wireless mouse for an exorbitant price of $130. Wasn’t. , The point, he said, was to inspire a vast audience of gamers with innovation, knowing they would choose other cheaper mice and merchandise from Razer.
A known leftist, he also told me he wished Razer could make a left-handed mouse, but he didn’t have the power to do so as the company’s president—the board had apparently decided it made financial sense. I don’t come. A year later, I smiled when I saw Razer release the first left-hand gaming mouse, a mirror-image version of its best-selling DeathAdder.
While Krakoff still advised the company as “president emeritus” for years, Razor was not his final act by a long shot. He also founded MindFX Science, a brand that focuses on selling energy drinks and supplements that serve as “a healthier alternative to highly caffeinated energy drinks and pre-workout products.”
Fitness seemed to be an important part of Krakoff’s life. He played for five years for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s. As he grew up, Krakoff said that he liked to play tennis, ride a bike, and do fitness training. He and his wife, Dr. Patsy Krakoff, also run a blog focused on fitness and nutrition tips for seniors, and wrote a book about the secrets to staying young.
Krakoff always looked a decade younger than you anticipated
But he also had a literary career of his own, writing a dozen books, under the name RM Krakoff. since 2009. After working as a copywriter, Krakoff said that he “kept his proverbial pen where his mouth was (ink that tasted like ink).” He dabbled in both fiction and nonfiction writing, writing everything from black comedy to sci-fi fantasy. his description America Unbound: Fighting Demons in a Vanished Democracy It’s a lot.
On Krakoff’s Facebook page, he said that he would divide his time between Jalisco, Mexico and Peoria, Arizona, as he enjoyed “being a sunbird and spending six months a year in each house”. He leaves behind two children, Scott and Robin, and five “very cool” grandchildren. Scott contributed cover art for most of his novels.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of co-founder and President Emeritus Robert Krakoff, known to all as RazerGuy,” a statement from Razer said. on twitter, “Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for gaming continues to inspire and continue to inspire us all.”
We are saddened by the passing of Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Robert Krakoff, known to all as RazorGuy. Robert’s unwavering drive and passion for gaming continues to inspire and continue to inspire us all.
Thanks Rob, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/2HKNcFaOj2
— r z r (@razor) April 28, 2022