Microsoft has acquired mysterious home entertainment startup R2 Studios, the company has confirmed, installing founder and CEO Blake Krikorian as CVP for its Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB). The news will see Krikorian – whose past successes include Slingbox – contribute to the Xbox team, with a focus on both games and entertainment.
Whispers of an R2 Studios (aka id8 Group R2 Studios) acquisition began in late 2012, with Microsoft, Apple, and Google all tipped to be in talks with the company. Microsoft’s apparent success was leaked a few weeks later, though at the time the company was tight-lipped on what was happening.
Even now, Microsoft is being vague about exactly what Krikorian will do. The exec not only co-founded Sling Media, makers of the video place-shifting Slingbox technology, but has served on Amazon’s board, and co-founded the Philips Mobile Computing Group, makers of the Velo 1 handheld. Released in 1998, it was an early forebear of the netbook or MID, running WindowsCE1.
“[Blake's] a proven innovator and well-respected leader in both the media and technology industries, having created simple, elegant products that have transformed the way people engage with and consume content” Krikorian’s new boss Marc Whitten said today. “We look forward to his contribution to our team as Xbox continues to evolve and transform the games and entertainment landscape.”