HTC’s much-anticipated VR headset, created in partnership with games firm Valve, just had its launch delayed to early next year, but that isn’t stopping the Taiwanese firm from forging relationships with key players in the virtual reality space.
Just weeks after the company, which is seriously struggling in its core smartphone business, disclosed a $10 million investment in VR platform WEVR, HTC co-founder (and former CEO) Peter Chou has taken an executive director role with Hong Kong-based Digital Domain, as Engadget first reported. The 22-year-old company is notable for powering the effects in Iron Man 3, Transformers, Titantic and Her and Tron:Legacy, and has worked on major game releases like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In addition, its IM360 joint venture has collaborated with Conan O’Brien, Nike and other high-profile names and brands.
Chairwoman Cher Wang replaced Chou as HTC CEO in March, with Chou taking on a new job within the company’s Future Development Lab. Chou will retain that position alongside his new role with Digital Domain, which said he will “focus on strategy and technology development” at the company. There’s obviously synergy between the two, and we’ll have to see what that produces.
Like the WEVR investment, Chou’s second role shows that HTC is serious about forming ties with companies in the VR space to provide the content to power its Vive headset. Indeed, VR is one pillar that HTC is betting on as part of a new strategy to turn things around after its stock hit rock bottom and it was forced to make layoffs.