Recently we caught up with Evil Controllers CEO Adam Coe, and talked about the past and future of his company which is making big waves in the gaming industry.
What is your background and education and what got you into this industry?
I completed high school and began classes at the University of Arizona, but did not finish. I entered into the industry because I am an avid gamer and I had an opportunity to make a business related to something I’m passionate about.
How did the company get started?
It began in my college dorm at the U of A, where I originally sold my controllers on eBay. My account quickly piled up with orders, so the following summer I decided to officially start the business with my brother.
What were some of the biggest challenges then as well as now?
The biggest challenge in the beginning was keeping up with the demand, but also advancing our brand and product lineup. Being a niche market, it’s a 24/7 job that demands and relies on constant innovation. Now that we have a strong foundation, we are challenged, in a sense, by our success and aspirations. Now that we have structure, every day we improve as a team and each member becomes better at their job. This in turn makes Evil better and the services we offer better.
How do you come up with your designs?
Cosmetic designs on the controllers are done by a few of us at Evil, being gamers we know what other gamers are interested in. However, the modifications to the controller’s internals are done by me and my programmer, who has been with the business since the beginning. There is a lot of input from everyone at Evil about our products and how we can improve them so we constantly strive to do so.
Do you have plans to do PS3 or WIii controls and if not why?
Yes we definitely plan on creating products for those markets as well. They are sadly lacking in innovation, in comparison to what we have done to the Xbox 360 controller. However, we will be addressing them soon and will be happy to offer them in the new year.
How do you handle marketing for the controls as it must be tough in this economy?
I believe making a good product will market itself. If it improves your gameplay experience, then it’s a no brainer, it will catch on. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise. However, marketing outside of word of mouth is a major aspect of our business model that we believe we excel in and can continue to improve upon within our business structure. In reference to the economy, we actually believe that our company thrives more in a down economy. As more people have to change their lifestyles by staying in and taking fewer vacations, they need a source of relatively cheap entertainment After an initial startup cost gaming is fairly cheap in reference to how many hours of entertainment you can receive.
Tell us about the quality assurance standards you have and how the controls are tested please.
Our quality control is very strict when it comes to our controllers, as well as customer service. Each hand modified controller is touched by at least 5 Evil Techs and finally tested by our warehouse manager for approval. Each feature is checked on the controller (buttons and mods operating properly), then each button is pressed to assure the controller feels just like a manufactured controller off the line, and finally the controller is checked for any cosmetic damage before entering our highly protective shipping boxes. When it is all said and done the controller goes through an 18 point inspection.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
In 5 years I see the business encompassing anything related to gaming and customization. With the new gaming systems coming out in the coming years, I’m excited to have the years of experience in the industry already behind me. With the innovation that we’ve done already, I’m excited to see what we will be doing years down the line. One aspect I believe will be a major part of our business will be making accessible controllers for disabled or limited motion gamers. It’s an avenue that is sadly underground and not growing at the same pace of video games, leaving these gamers to play catch up. We want to even the playing field for every gamer out there!