Pulse Evolution Corporation, a recognized pioneer and leading developer of hyper-realistic digital humans for entertainment, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, announced that Original Force Computer Animation and Shanghai U9 Game have combined to invest $10 million in Pulse common stock. Both Original Force and U9 Game are backed by Chinese digital-entertainment giant, Tencent Holding Limited, a $200-billion global conglomerate whose subsidiaries include Internet, mobile, instant-messaging and music-distribution companies.
Commenting on the new venture, John Textor, executive chairman of Pulse Evolution, said: “We are certainly pleased to have the support of Original Force, and its Chairman Harley Zhao. We have great respect for their commitment to story-based content and we share a belief that the greatest of stories deserve the very best in visual imagery.”
Mr. Textor continued, “We are also excited to have further validation of our technology from Shanghai U9 Game and its CEO Liang Liu. Digital humans are pervasive across the game space and we will enjoy the opportunity to upgrade the standards of digital life with such an impressive and fast growing video game company.”
The investment is part of a larger strategic relationship through which Original Force and U9 Game have become the first licensees of Pulse Evolution’s market-leading human animation software. Original Force will now benefit from Pulse Evolution technology in its principal business of feature animation filmmaking, while U9 Game will deploy the technology in the character based applications of its high-growth video game business. Both Original Force and U9 Game have also become partners of Pulse’s affiliated entertainment production companies, bringing global distribution support and complimentary video game expertise to Pulse’s primary live concert productions which are currently in development.
The principals of Pulse Evolution exploded onto the pop culture radar with the computer generated animation of Tupac Shakur, projected in holographic form at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music Festival. In 2014, they launched Pulse with the production of a ‘virtual’ Michael Jackson as the highlight of the Billboard Music Awards. Since then Pulse Evolution has secured exclusive rights to the digital likeness of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and counts each of these leading estates as founding shareholders.
Original Force founder and president Harley Zhao commented, “Original Force has always aspired to the highest ideals of rich story telling and stunning visual imagery, in our films and in our games. The people of Pulse represent the greatest traditions of computer animation and their new company has quickly become the gold standard of human animation. We are thrilled to be their partners.”
Shanghai U9 Game CEO Liang Liu also contributed, “We too are happy that our friends at Original Force invited us into this partnership with Pulse. As the convergence of film, games and live performance continues, it is critical that we are able deliver the most visually stunning, believable and engaging human characters into the increasingly digital domain.”
“The support of Original Force and U9 Games, both with the backing of Tencent Holdings, further extends our global network of A-list investors and strategic partners,” concluded Dr. Rene Eichenberger, Vice Chairman of Pulse, “thus, helping to expand the reach of our technology and of our entertainment properties. Pulse now enjoys solid global support from leading media, entertainment and technology investors in Japan, China, Singapore, Europe and the United States.”