Razer, the gaming hardware startup, in a move to “extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment” has strategically acquired majority assets of THX, the renowned audio-visual company. Financial details of the same were not revealed in the official press statement.
Iconic filmmaker George Lucas stemmed THX as a part of Lucasfilm, back in 1983, to improve cinematic sound production. Lucas hired audio scientist, Tomlinson Holman, to design the audio mixing facilities with an aim to impart a quality audio performance across movie theaters. The initiative primarily comprised a beeline of essential features that a cinema hall should have to assure a premium quality sound. THX has been certifying audiovisual systems since then and has expanded past studio and cinema, to consumer electronics, content, automotive systems as well as live entertainment through THX Live!, which debuted with Beyoncé’s Formation tour earlier this year.
The company was spun off from Lucasfilm in 2002 when a Singaporean company, Creative Technologies, nabbed a 60 percent stake from Lucasfilm. One might not be familiar with the company’s prospects, but there is high probability that a movie buff would seen this “Deep Note” clip played at the beginning of a movie, which implies it is THX certified.
Under the new owner, THX will focus on the expansion of its current certification program to include new technologies, such as immersive audio and HDR, and the introduction of whole new programs, such as headphone certification and, in the future, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experiences and their enabling devices. Razer has brought onboard the management and employees of the company. The latter, though, will continue to operate as an independent entity under its own management and apart from the ongoing business of its parent company.
The acquisition follows an active growing period for THX which will catapult into new categories in order to address evolving consumer needs. Ty Ahmad-Taylor, CEO of THX, said,
Our focus has always been on ensuring that anyone can experience high quality entertainment, regardless of their medium of choice. With Razer, we can now continue to strengthen our core lines of business while delivering excellence for our customers’ ever-changing needs. As a standalone company, THX will work with Razer but will primarily continue to service our partners in the industry in order to deliver great products to consumers.
THX, at present, has a team of 50 people, consisting of a number of top audio and graphics engineers and scientists. This count is also expected to rise, with the hiring of employees at the HQ and in other offices to tap into their progressing markets there of films, tech or any other content which could be complemented by better audiovisual quality.
Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said,
Razer has a vision for innovation at every level of entertainment, a vision which THX has championed since its inception more than 30 years ago. This acquisition will allow us to reinforce Razer’s leadership in gaming and extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment, while at the same time empowering THX to develop into a global powerhouse, independently.
Razor had also announced zVentures some time back, a $30mn fund to back startups in areas that are considered strategic for Razer. It asserts that the major reason behind this deal is the phenomenal brand that THX has built over years. This can’t be disregarded, considering the latent fondness for the THX name among movie fans (especially Star Wars lovers!).
The audio technology business will have discretion to seek agreements with other product makers, service providers and financial partners apart from Razer. But, something magical is sure brewing up in the near future with this great collaboration.