For decades Wicked Pictures was one of the leading US American porn studios. Its founder, Steve Orenstein, announced this week the sale of his company to the Canadian porn giant Gamma Entertainment. Wicked’s extensive catalog of many award-winning titles is part of the deal highlighting the importance of Gamma within the industry otherwise dominated by streaming platforms.
One of the remaining legendary studios of the late 80s and early 90s glory days of porn studios has been sold. After its online presence, wicked.com has been managed by the Canadian porn group Gamma Entertainment (Adult Time) for over a year, founder and president of the studio, Steve Orenstein, decided it was time to find a sustainable future for the legacy brand. He sold his studio to Gamma, and two of its biggest stars, porn star Jessica Drake and award-winning director Axel Braun, are in line to get senior positions at the new company.
In a statement regarding the sale of his company, Orenstein said: »My experience with every person on the Gamma team over the past year and a half of managing Wicked.com has been nothing short of remarkable. They have truly been the ideal partner to help with the company I founded 27 years ago that grew into one of the biggest, most recognizable brands in the adult industry today.«
He added: »While it is difficult to let go of my creation, they have shown me their desire to make the best of what Wicked has to offer and advance it to the next level as it continues to evolve for years to come as I focus my energy on Wicked Sensual Care, the pleasure products company I began 8 years ago.«
Wicked was founded in 1993 and quickly developed into one of the leading porn studios of the 90s DVD boom. Among the studios, worldwide breakthrough stars were Jessica Drake, Jenna Jameson, Asa Akira, Carmen Heart, and the now-notorious Stormy Daniels.
Orenstein seems optimistic that Gamma will handle one of the best-known studios in adult entertainment as the jewel it represents: »I envision this change being incredibly beneficial for our loyal fans and longtime members of Wicked.com, as Gamma is dedicated to elevating brand visibility while continuing to deliver the high standard of quality in adult entertainment our followers have come to expect.«
Regarding two of his biggest stars, Orenstein added: »Two great examples of that include continuing the relationship with Jessica, who has been the heart, soul, and face of Wicked for the past 17 years as she helped guide the brand in more ways than most know, along with Axel Braun, who over the past seven years has brought us some of our highest-profile and most awarded projects. Like Jessica has been more than a performer, Axel has been more than a director for Wicked, and I am pleased to see him in the role of Head of Production to help carry out Wicked’s vision for the long term.«
Orenstein knows how much of his studio’s success is owed to the talents and crews he hired over the years of his long career in porn. He said: »There are many key people to thank for Wicked’s success over the years who deserve to be mentioned, and in the weeks to come, they will be. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to the Gamma Team and offer my wish of continued success for years to come.«
One of the key talents in Wicked’s long list of major porn stars is the director Alex Braun. He will become Head of Production for the new Wicked department at Gamma. Regarding the sales of his longtime partner studio, he said: »The past seven years as an exclusive director for Wicked have been the most professionally rewarding of my career, and I am thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to stay on board not only as a filmmaker but also in a position where I can use my 30-year experience to help raise the bar in terms of quality on all of the company’s projects. It’s definitely a bittersweet moment because I have enormous respect and genuine affection for Steve Orenstein, a man of unmatched honesty, loyalty, and decency, and the people at Gamma are brilliant, ambitious, and they understand the history and the value of the Wicked brand, so there is no doubt in my mind that this acquisition will be incredibly beneficial for the company that Steve created, and I will make it my mission to further his legacy and make him proud of what we will accomplish.«
Jessica Drake, one of the biggest porn stars of the Wicked studio brand and one of the brand ambassadors for the ongoing operations under Gamma added: »Being signed as an exclusive contract performer for Wicked Pictures 17 years ago remains one of the proudest moments of my career. With their support and encouragement to grow throughout the years as a performer, director, and educator, I have reached a level of success I never imagined attainable. I greatly appreciate being given the opportunity by Steve Orenstein to be a part of the growth and development of our brand and I value the hard work from our entire team.«
She is very optimistic about the future of her brand at the Canadian conglomerate: »Since the relaunch of Wicked.com last year with Gamma, I have been impressed by their teamwork, creativity, and vision, and I am thrilled to continue my journey with Wicked as we merge forces with Gamma. I’m looking forward to being a part of Wicked’s promising future as I step into a new role to create and develop new projects for the brand while still living out my fantasies and pleasing fans as a performer. The synergy between the two adult powerhouses will make for a very exciting 2021, and I will continue to help build the brand with as much heart and soul as I ever have.«
Braun, too, thinks that Wicked will profit from its new ownership: »2021 is going to be an absolutely phenomenal year for Wicked, we have so much in store and I have the support of an incredible team, so I’m pumped up and ready to raise that bar!«
About the latest addition to his ever-growing list of adult labels Gamma President Karl Bernard said: »By blending our creative approach with Wicked’s commitment to quality, I am confident we will be able to explore new territory together within Gamma.«