HP Enters Gaming Space With Voodoo Buy

Hewlett-Packard, a manufacturer of PCs, said it will purchase Canada-based Voodoo, a producer of high-end computers favored by gamers, for an undisclosed sum—as well as create a new unit for gaming—marking the firm’s first notable effort to compete in the profitable PC-gaming space, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Voodoo, of Calgary, Alberta, makes PCs with high-performance processors and top-of-the-line graphics cards, making them ideal for running computer video games, according to the Journal.

Dell, the world’s largest producer of PCs and a major HP competitor, announced a similar deal last spring with Alienware, another maker of high-end computers popular with gamers, the Journal reports.

Voodoo PCs often sell for more than five times the price of average consumer PCs, according to the Journal.

“The gaming market is clearly a high-end space that we haven’t participated in broadly,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s PC division, the Journal reports.

Voodoo currently sells directly to consumers, eliminating middlemen, and HP plans to continue with this sales strategy, thereby cutting down on any possible cannibalization of sales of HP PCs in retail stores, according to the Journal.

Voodoo will be at the heart of HP’s gaming unit, and all 30 existing staffers are expected to stay on at its Calgary locale, the Journal reports.

Voodoo Chief Executive Ravi Sood will come to HP as head of strategy and marketing for its global game business, and Rahul Sood, his brother and Voodoo president, will come on as HP’s chief gaming technologist, according to the Journal.

In related news, HP and Yahoo recently announced an agreement under which Yahoo search functionality and additional services will be preinstalled on HP desktop and laptop computers sold in the United States and Europe. A similar deal between Dell and Google was announced in May.

The news also comes at a time when HP is under fire from critics, lawmakers, journalists and privacy activists alike for its controversial investigation into the sources of sensitive company information leaked to media outlets.

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