STX Entertainment is expanding into virtual reality content creation by acquiring Surreal. Surreal will operate as a division of STX, led by co-founders Rick Rey and Andy Vick, who will be co-presidents of VR and Immersive Entertainment.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition follows STX’s recent strategic investments from Tencent and PCCW, among others, to diversify its presence in the media and tech world.
“Virtual reality is exploding, and STX sees a unique opportunity to create one-of-a-kind content by pairing the world’s biggest stars and storytellers with best-in-class VR capabilities,” said Sophie Watts, president of STX Entertainment. “Rick and Andy have been leaders in redefining the entertainment experience, and we can’t wait to get them in a room with all of our other premier partners. Our seamless integration allows for a platform-agnostic exchange of ideas and talent across film, television and emerging media, such that STX will become the number one destination for talent, brands and content creators seeking a way to create programming designed to play on every VR system.”
As co-heads of STX’s Surreal division, Rey and Vick will continue to develop original VR films, TV series and branded programming, as well as derivatives of STX entertainment properties.
“We founded Surreal with a mission to change the way people experience entertainment,” said Rey. “There is no better place to bring that vision to life than at STX Entertainment. Imagine the possibilities for innovation when you have a virtual reality division sitting next to a motion picture and television group in a frictionless ecosystem of collaboration. Immersive content is not just a priority at STX--it’s now part of every major conversation. We are thrilled to be joining a forward-thinking and entrepreneurial new company.”
“As part of STX, we will have the resources to move the needle in a way we haven’t yet seen in the immersive content space,” added Vick. “We are creating and thoughtfully programming a slate of compelling original content with A-list stars in front of and behind the camera. Audiences are searching for a reason to put on a headset, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.