News Column

Oculus founder bids for largest video game collection

June 11, 2014

By Kevin Sablan, The Orange County Register



June 11--Palmer Luckey's love of video games brought him closer to making virtual reality a reality for millions of people. His $300 Rift goggles, which immerse wearers in a digital world, are closer than ever to being commercialized.

But what's a man to do after he sells his VR company to Facebook for $2 billion? Apparently, trying to buy the largest video game collection in the world is on his to-do list. Oculus VR, the Irvine-based company Luckey co-founded, confirmed he's among the bidders on a collection of more than 11,000 games recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world.

Michael Thomasson of Buffalo, N.Y., claims he has every game made for a number of home consoles, including several Atari and Sega systems. More than 2,500 are unopened while 8,300 come with box and manual. His collection includes more than 35 "Mario" titles as well as versions of "Doom" and "Wolfenstein," groundbreaking '90s games made by John Carmack, now chief technical officer at Oculus.

Thomasson said he's selling the games to help with unspecified family needs.

The auction is being held via Gamegavel.com with bidding ending Sunday, after the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles concludes. Bidding on the collection passed $500,000 on Tuesday. -- Ian Hamilton

On the move

Kadima Lonji has been named chief technology officer, direct to consumer, at Billabong, an Australian surfwear retailer with American headquarters in Irvine. He formerly worked at Luxottica Group SpA, which owns Foothill Ranch-based Oakley, as director of global omni-commerce technology.

Edward F. Kurtz has been named chief operating officer at Praxsyn Corp., an Irvine maker of pain management creams. He also has been appointed interim chief executive, president and chairman of the board. Kurtz previously served as chief operating officer at Mesa Pharmacy Inc., a Praxsyn subsidiary. Dan O'Brien was appointed interim treasurer and chief financial officer. He previously worked at St. Jude Medical Inc. as director of finance and administration.

Kevin McKown has joined MMFX Steel Corp. of America, an Irvine rebar seller, as vice president of sales and marketing. McKown was previously general manager at Scheu Steel.

New ventures

The new luxury hotel on the site of the long-vacant Pacific City development in Huntington Beach will be named the PasÉa Hotel & Spa. The name, which means to take a stroll in Spanish, was unveiled during a groundbreaking for the long-stalled project last week. The eight-story hotel is being described as a combination of "beach chic" and elegance.

The PasÉa will have 250 ocean-view rooms, a Balinese-inspired spa with indoor and outdoor treatment areas, a rooftop deck and bar overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and a custom-designed pool area that will include an outdoor courtyard with water and fire features. R.D. Olson Development in Irvine is overseeing the project, and Pacific Hospitality Group in Irvine will manage the hotel, which is expected to open in early 2016.

Kurion Inc., a radioactive waste management company in Irvine that has been helping with the cleanup at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since 2011, has been awarded a contract by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. to deliver a system that will move around the Fukushima site to reduce strontium from hundreds of tanks that contain 400,000 metric tons of water. Kurion expects to have the system up and running this summer.

Obituary

H.K. Desai, the 68-year-old executive chairman at Aliso Viejo computer chip company QLogic Corp., died Sunday night after a cardiac arrest. He joined the company in 1995 as interim chief executive, president and chief technology officer. One year later, he became president and CEO. He relinquished his chief executive title in 2010, when he became executive chairman. Desai also previously served as chairman of QLogic's board of directors.

"HK dedicated most of his working life to building QLogic into the company it is today," Prasad Rampalli, QLogic president and chief executive, said in a statement. "While HK was extraordinarily passionate about his work, his greatest pride was his family, and our thoughts are with them at this time. We will miss HK dearly," Rampalli said.

Overheard

"I don't even own a cellphone." -- Bill Gross, Pimco co-founder, writing in his investment outlook about the "modern age" becoming more virtual than physical

Register writer Mary Ann Milbourn contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: 714-796-3589 or ksablan@ocregister.com

___

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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Source: Orange County Register (CA)


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