According to a story on CNET's News.com, George Lucas is to further extend his tendrils into the gaming industry, this time via his THX sound company, famous for offering a quality standard for sound departments in film production companies to work to. THX has apparently been approached many times over the past five or six years by publishers interested in gaining THX certification for their titles, but only in the past 18 months has the company finally recognised the game industry as a major player in quality soundtracks and audio effects.
We were somewhat unsurprised to learn that Electronic Arts will be the first company to make use of the standard, with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, SSX 3, Medal of Honor Rising Sun, Need for Speed Underground and James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing all receiving pretty little THX logos on their boxes.
Of course, becoming a THX licensee doesn't come cheap, and to obtain certification a developer must follow THX's specifications down to the letter; this includes the outfitting of audio and video production facilities, right down to the furniture. Because of this we don't expect to see a proliferation of THX-certified titles winging their way onto the shelves, especially not from the smaller outfits.