Why it matters: The GN Group, whose portfolio includes audio, noise cancellation, and hearing loss solutions from ReSound, Jabra, BlueParrott, and Beltone, recently added SteelSeries to their stable of audio and peripheral products. SteelSeries provides headsets, keyboards, and other peripherals across multiple PC and console gaming platforms. The $1.2 billion dollar acquisition of SteelSeries and their line of products solidifies GN's desire to break into the PC and console gaming market.
SteelSeries, the longtime provider of gaming peripherals including the Arctis headset and Apex keyboard lines, was recently acquired by hearing and audio solutions provider The GN Group. GN, who owns several audio and hearing support brands including Jabra and Beltone, purchased the company from a private equity firm for a reported 8 billion Danish Krone (DKK), or $1.2 billion US dollars (USD). The acquisition is expected to close by 2022 pending mandatory regulatory approvals.
SteelSeries CEO Ehtisham Rabbani expressed his optimism following the acquisition, stating "we’re on a mission to continually push boundaries in e-sports and gaming...and now, with the backing of GN, we’ll be able to turbo charge these efforts." GN CEO René Svendsen-Tune was equally positive following the acquisition and said SteelSeries will continue to operate under the same identity and branding.
Since 2001, SteelSeries and their products, which integrate under the SteelSeries GG software ecosystem, have provided support ranging from peripherals to tournaments and sponsorships for the PC and console gaming communities. The acquisition now provides GN with a clear path to enter the competitive gaming and e-sports market. The purchase also provides GN with access to KontrolFreek and Nahimic, both of which were acquired by SteelSeries in 2020.
The GN Group is no stranger to audio innovation; the company's past and current efforts include achievements ranging from being the first to use 2.4Ghz technology in hearing aids to creating the world's first professional active noise cancellation headphones. Despite this focus on audio technologies and solutions, it is unlikely that SteelSeries will abandon other peripheral product lines such as gaming controllers, keyboards, and mice. Both companies have said that SteelSeries' operations and development will continue under the company's current leadership.
GN initially took notice of SteelSeries' growth and presence in the gaming and e-sports communities and expressed their desire to focus on expanding software-based controls for SteelSeries and other gaming hardware. These software-based controls, which can provide customization of everything from hardware lighting to input behavior, provide users with the ability to create a highly personalized and optimized gaming experience.
Image credit: Reynier Carl