Taiwanese electronics company HTC may be having a terrible time with its smartphone biz recently with diminishing market share and plummeting stock prices, but its co-founder and former CEO Peter Chou has reportedly been appointed as an executive director at Hong Kong-based visual effects firm Digital Domain. The firm is responsible for the visual effects in movies like Iron Man 3, Transformers, Titanic and Tron: Legacy, among a whole host of other CGI-intensive feature films to have come out of Hollywood in recent times. The Hong Kong-based company was reportedly co-founded by filmmaker James Cameron, who is known to have directed such movies as Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, among other notable Hollywood blockbusters.
As for Chou, he relinquished his duties as the company’s chief executive earlier this year and handed over the reigns to Cher Wang, but continues to serve the company he helped found, as the leader of its Future Development Lab. He is believed to retain that position with HTC alongside his new role at Digital Domain. In a press release, Digital Domain said that Chou will “focus on strategy and technology development”. What that entails remains to be seen, but the company did launch a new VR initiative earlier this year, called IM360, as part of a joint venture with Dallas-based Immersive Media. The newly formed JV has reportedly already collaborated with comedian and TV talk show host Conan O’Brien, and also the world’s largest sports goods manufacturer, Nike.
With HTC going through a severe crisis of late, the company is betting on VR (Virtual Reality) to tide over the rough times. However, with the commercial launch of the HTC Vive headset being pushed back till next year, it remains to be seen what the company can do in the meantime to turn back its fortunes, after having seen its stock price hit its lowest levels since the company was listed publicly on the Taiwan Stock Exchange back in 2002. Chou taking on this new role at Digital Domain however does show that HTC is dead serious about its efforts in the VR sector. Seeing as Digital Domain is also the company to have worked on successful gaming titles like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, HTC will probably look to leverage that experience to get gaming content for its Vive headset.