The Beginning Of Roccat
“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.
At least it doesn't have that "single-clicks registering as double-clicks" issue many other gaming mice nowadays seem to suffer from every now and then.
Roccat is a German company. They likely have a larger presence in Europe than the states. I have heard of the brand, but never seen any of their products at retail.
Some of the mice look pretty similar to Logitech MX series. That's not to say Roccat copied them, I'm sure there are only so many ways to shape a mouse. Rather, I mean unless you are pretty picky, or want a certain feature Roccat has, it's likely they aren't a big in the US because Logitech & Razer are already serving the market well.
I didn't go with another Steelseries, even though their FPS-oriented mice have a good reputation amongst gamers, because the quality of the WoW mice wasn't up to my standards. I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium peripheral that will last for years, and while the WoW mice I have still function okay, okay isn't really good enough, the left and right-click buttons were not consistent on the 2 mice I have, and the finish is poor on both of them.
What I'd really like to see more then anything is a modern track mouse from Logitech that's got the same high DPI and poll rate settings and ample button triggers and similar layout to it's gaming mouses.
It's a shame how badly Logitech has neglected it's track mouse and Microsoft has the IntellMouse because they were both very good and well designed when they first launched, but badly need a product refreshment due to their ages because since the specs don't come remotely close to more modern specs.
If Roccat wants to get my interest make a modern track mouse that's laser based with a high polling rate and high DPI and nice array of customizable buttons in a nice ergonomic layout.
And the I like the diversity in the products!