HP Gets its Game On with VoodooPC

Hewlett-Packard announced yesterday that it plans to acquire boutique computer maker VoodooPC; financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. VoodooPC is well-regarded for its high-performance and spendy desktop and notebook systems catering to the gamer, multimedia, and PC enthusiast crowds, often featuring stylish and outlandish design elements.

The move is another demonstration of the strength of the high-end gaming market, as major manufacturers look to cash in on hardcore gamers and others willing to shell out for top-notch, high performance systems offering the latest and greatest in entertainment value. Earlier this year, Dell purchased Alienware, a major VoodooPC rival, for an undisclosed amount.

HP plans to keep VoodooPC running as a separate busines unit within its Personal Systems Group, and keep it focused on the gaming industry. HP also plans to keep VoodooPC’s current distribution model and brand name alive, along with its current marketing, sales, development, and support operations. VoodooPc founders (and semi-celebrities) Rahul and Ravi sood will stay on in technology and strategy roles. The acquisition is expected to be completed by November.

“Our passion at VoodooPC has been to design the highest performance, personalized PCs for our customers’ entertainment,” said Rahul Sood, VoodooPC’s founder and president, in a statement. “Customers should continue to expect the highest level of personalized configurations, service and quality. The benefits of this acquisition to VoodooPC are immense, not least of which is having a direct conduit to HP’s unparalleled innovation and international presence.”

The acquisition could be a major win for both companies, giving HP credibility in the gaming marketplace where its systems have never been greeted with much enthusiasm, along with VoodooPC’s enthusiastic customer base and trickle-down effects of VoodooPC’s performance-centric designs. VoodooPC, in turn, will get access to HP’s R&D resources, distribution channels, and manufacturing scale, which should enable them to produce new products with lower costs.

And, plus, VoodooPC gets a big, fat payday.

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