Flush with new investment from Chinese and other backers, STX Entertainment announced it is expanding its multi-platform business into virtual reality with the acquisition of Surreal, a producer and distributor of “immersive content” experiences.
The acquisition will lead to the formation of STX’s first full-scale division in the new media field and will bring in-house Surreal’s two founders, Rick Rey and Andy Vick.
The duo and their company have produced more than 70 immersive experiences in the last year, which have been viewed more than 35 million times across various platforms, according to an announcement from STX.
Sophie Watts, president of STX Entertainment, predicted that talent will be drawn to the company because of the ability they will have to create content across multiple platforms. “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,” Watts said in a statement.
Rey said in a statement that the young firm went with STX because it saw the company fully embracing the possibilities of virtual reality. “Immersive content is not just a priority at STX — it’s now part of every major conversation,” Rey said. “We are thrilled to be joining a forward-thinking and entrepreneurial new company.”
Vick said that the company will take the promise of virtual reality and turn it into something compelling for audiences. “Audiences are searching for a reason to put on a headset, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them,” he said.
The announcement Tuesday came about two weeks after STX said that new investment from China’s Tencent Holdings and Hong Kong’s PCCW (both of which received a stake in the American company) would allow forays into new entertainment platforms.