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castAR Secures Former LucasArts Chief For CEO Role

It has been some time since we’ve talked about castAR on VRFocus. Whilst we’ve spoken about its ultra-secretive augmented reality (AR) rival Magic Leap on numerous occasions, the last time we spoke of the Washington firm, founded in 2013 by two former Valve veterans was in fact was nine months ago. At that time we spoke to CEO David Henkel-Wallace about what the future held for the company, as well as discussed in an overview the technology itself that had been revealed at August 2015’s PAX Prime event. Technology that despite being early in its development and not yet ready for developers themselves was described by VRFocus in a hands-on preview as “impressively robust“.

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Wherever the future leads the company however it will not be with Henkel-Wallace at the helm as CEO, after castAR officially hired Darrell Rodriguez this last Thursday to take on the role. This alone would likely not raise any eyebrows, however when you look at Rodriguez’s resume it holds one very noteworthy name in the areas of both video games and entertainment in general. Rodriguez is the former President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LucasArts. The studio was shut down in April 2013 following the acquisition of all Lucas-related properties by The Walt Disney Company in 2012. His gaming pedigree also includes a stint as COO of EA’s Los Angeles studio.

Speaking on his hiring Rodriguez said: “castAR is primed to make mixed reality the place where the next breakthrough in entertainment will happen. Steve [Parkis, also hired to castAR as President and COO] and my experiences in digital entertainment, combined with the vision of Jeri [Ellsworth] and Rick [Johnson], leaves us both incredibly excited to drive the future of gaming through our first to market technology.”

Ellsworth was enthused about the company’s new blood, citing that “Darrell and Steve not only share our passion for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in mixed reality gaming and entertainment, they are the one-two punch we have been looking for to drive castAR into our consumer launch and beyond. Together with our great partners at Playground Global, we’re poised to deliver a groundbreaking player experience.”

castAR continues to move towards a consumer launch for their AR system and is targeting a 2017 release. VRFocus will bring you more on the developments across the AR industry in the weeks and months to come.