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In brief: Robert "RazerGuy" Krakoff, co-founder and former president of Razer Inc., died last week at the age of 81. PC gamers of a certain age will remember Krakoff as the public face of a budding gaming peripheral company. Its first big product, the Razer Boomslang gaming mouse, dropped in late 1999 and was designed by Fitch Inc. for an entity known as Kärna.
Razer at the time was a brand of Kärna, and wouldn't formally become a standalone company until 2005 after Krakoff and current CEO Min-Liang Tan bought the rights to the brand from the bankrupt entity.
Razer wasted little time flooding the market with a torrent of gaming-focused peripherals, many of which are named after venomous or predatory creatures. Before RGB LEDs became the kudzu of the gaming community, high-speed sensors, programmable hotkeys and customizable profiles were all the rage.
Krakoff led the marketing charge as RazerGuy, the public face of the startup. I had a private meeting with Krakoff at CES 2007 where he demoed the company's featured attraction, the Mako 2.1 THX certified speaker system. The product was notable, but I was more impressed with Krakoff himself. He came across as extremely knowledgeable, incredibly passionate and very genuine, and treated a nobody like me with the utmost respect.
Krakoff died on April 26, 2022, according to Razer. No cause of death was mentioned.