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Fresh off a new round of financing from China, STX Entertainment is expanding into virtual reality with the acquisition of VR producer Surreal.
Founded in 2015, Surreal has focused on producing and distributing immersive and 360-degree videos, including projects with Snoop Dogg, Gordon Ramsay and American Idol. With the acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, founders Rick Rey and Andy Vick will serve as co-presidents of VR and immersive entertainment at STX. STX’s Surreal division will continue to develop VR films, TV series, branded programs and other immersive projects that would be based on STX properties.
“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,” STX president Sophie Watts said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”
Rey added that the Surreal acquisition means that “immersive content is not just a priority at STX — it’s now a part of every major conversation.”
The acquisition comes less than two weeks after STX raised a round of funding from Chinese tech giant Tencent and Hong Kong media company PCCW. The studio is prepping for the November release of The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld.
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