George Lucas originally founded THX in 1983 to ensure the best possible sound quality standards in movie theaters for Return of the Jedi and subsequent movies. By the time LucasFilm spun it off as an independent company, THX expanded into emerging digital platforms and audio experiences outside of theaters, like car sound systems.
THX’s 2002 spin-off included the establishment of THX Games, which focused on audio optimization for new and upcoming gaming systems. California-based Razer, Inc., which bills itself as “the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers,” plans to further expand THX’s global reach with its acquisition of the company.
Razer confirmed in a press release on Monday that it will acquire the majority of THX Ltd. assets and will bring aboard its existing management teams. Financial details of the deal have yet to be disclosed. THX will “operate as an independent startup” separately from its new parent company and “have discretion to seek agreements with other product makers, service providers and financial partners apart from Razer,” according to the release.
Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan had this to say about the acquisition and how the two companies plan to grow:
“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.”
THX CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor said that while the company’s scope will expand, its overall vision will remain the same:
“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 certainly makes sense as an acquisition for Razer, which primarily makes products geared toward PC gamers and could always stand to improve sound quality. Though THX will work with other companies apart from Razer, it will be a great asset for Razer to continually improve its “Razer Surround” audio software. THX also just recently expanded into live entertainment with THX Live! and it will be interesting to see how it can expand that global opportunity under the umbrella of Razer, which has always been primarily a gaming-oriented company.