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Creative Labs founder & CEO Sim Wong Hoo passes away at 67

Sim Wong Hoo founded Creative Labs in 1981, which pioneered and dominated the PC sound tech industry through products like Sound Blaster.

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Sim Wong Hoo, the founder and CEO of Creative Labs which made its name in PC sound cards like Sound Blaster, has died. A statement from the company stated that Hoo “passed away peacefully” on January 4, 2023. He was 67 years old at the time of his passing.

Sim Wong Hoo and Creative Labs had a prolific impact on the field of PC gaming and audio technology throughout the 1980s and 90s. Founded in 1981, Creative Labs is perhaps best known for developing the Sound Blaster sound card line. Launched in 1989, Sound Blaster very quickly became the go-to hardware for PC gaming audio. Many will recall testing sound tech in the start-ups of games like Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter to figure out what worked best. Sound Blaster quickly became prominent and effectively replaced former competitor Ad Lib as the PC audio standard. By the mid-90s, and on the back of the Sound Blaster Pro’s launch, Creative Labs had become a billion dollar company.

Sim Wong Hoo's memorial page on the Creative Labs website.
Creative Labs put up a memorial page on its website to honor and remember Sim Wong Hoo and his contributions to the company and the PC industry.
Source: Creative Labs

Creative Labs’ products became less of a staple in PC audio as later machines integrated audio and eliminated the need to buy separate sound cards, but Creative Labs’ efforts continued in specialized audio and other technologies, even up to and including gaming headsets still on sale today, and throughout all of that, Sim Wong Hoo remained at the head of the company as its CEO. Following Sim’s passing, Song Siow Hui will take up the reins as interim CEO of Creative Labs and shared words in the statement on Sim’s passing.

For everything Sim Wong Hoo did for Creative Labs, and everything Creative Labs did for PCs and gaming, it feels like the tech landscape would be a far different place without them. Shacknews offers respect and condolences to the family and friends of Sim Wong Hoo in this difficult time.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
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    January 5, 2023 1:00 PM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Creative Labs founder & CEO Sim Wong Hoo passes away at 67

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      January 5, 2023 1:14 PM

      That's sad news. SoundBlaster was one of those things that made PC gaming catch on. I can't imagine we'd have played a lot of PC games with just Adlib FM synth noises. haha

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        January 5, 2023 1:38 PM

        Well put. There can’t be many Shackers who haven’t owned something from Creative at some point. I’ve had their speakers and multiple sound cards. Hell, my sister even had a Nomad!

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        January 5, 2023 1:40 PM

        Remember parrot and doctor sbaitso?

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      January 5, 2023 1:19 PM

      I miss going to frys and getting some creative labs hardware with my dad. We thought that was a quality brand and worth the premium

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      January 5, 2023 1:38 PM

      RIP

      https://youtu.be/e8jaTnFkBVw

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      January 5, 2023 2:09 PM

      AWE32 / AWE64Gold, best soundcards I've ever owned from them.

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      January 5, 2023 2:11 PM

      I hope Dr Sbaitso comes out of retirement to speak at the funeral.

      Seriously though, Creative Labs was amazing and I imagine the primary source of most of our PC audio for a really long time.

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