“Building the perfect gaming mouse is joy and pain.”
Roccat founder and CEO René Korte speaks with Tom’s Hardware about the process of building one of the world’s most successful lines of gaming mice. Before founding Roccat, he was a vice president of Razer in Europe. Prior to that, René worked for media companies like AOL and Computec. He also co-founded and managed one of the most successful professional gaming teams ever: mTw. René decided to start his own company in 2007, and six years later, Roccat is now one of the top manufacturers of gaming peripherals with products retailing in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Tom's Hardware: René, Roccat is celebrating the Kone's fifth-year anniversary this year. What does this product mean for Roccat, and to you personally?
René Korte: The Roccat Kone is the one product it all started with, and it remains our core product today. The Kone Series embodies the Roccat philosophy, that we are always trying to improve the gamer’s experience or to make people better players.
Overall, the Kone is a huge success story for Roccat. Although we had some bumps along the way, we learned from them, and ultimately improved gamers’ experience as a result. For me personally, five years of Kone means almost seven years of Kone. We started developing the first Kone right after I founded Roccat. At the time, we simply weren’t satisfied with most of the gaming peripherals on the market. So, we decided to do it better. We had been working on the very first version of the Kone for more than a year when we realized we were traveling on a dead-end street. We decided to start all over again, so my time with the Kone is one of a lot of joy with a few growing pains along the way.
Tom's Hardware: What was it that made you build your own gaming mouse? Which features couldn’t you find with other mice back then?
René Korte: Back then, I was still active in professional gaming. So, I had first-hand information of the problems players had with the existing peripherals. For example, the shape of the mice that were available sucked nine out of 10 times. The ergonomics were weak. Roccat was also the first company to solve some of the problems with laser sensors on different surfaces with the TDCU. Customization through lighting effects was something Roccat invented too, so there was a lot to improve on. All of those things were, and still are, meant to make people better gamers. It’s not about what’s possible technically. Our features improve your gaming or your gaming experience.