Well this one came out of left field. It appears that Microsoft just acquired Havok from Intel. In case you’ve never heard of them, Havok are behind a great many pieces of Middleware that power the gaming industry including Havok Physics, Vision Game Engine and Animation Studio. They also bundled many of their tools together for mobile in a free project called Project Anarchy, that I did a tutorial series about.
From the announcement:
Today, we are proud to announce that Microsoft has acquired Havok, the leading provider of 3D physics, from Intel.
As we welcome Havok to the Microsoft family, we will continue to work with developers to create great gaming experiences, and continue to license Havok’s development tools to partners. We believe that Havok is a fantastic addition to Microsoft’s existing tools and platform components for developers, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure.
Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator. We saw an opportunity to acquire Havok to deliver great experiences for our fans. Throughout the company’s history, they’ve partnered with Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and many others to create more than 600 games including Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Destiny, Dark Souls and The Elder Scrolls.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Havok continues our tradition of empowering developers by providing them with the tools to unleash their creativity to the world. We will continue to innovate for the benefit of development partners. Part of this innovation will include building the most complete cloud service, which we’ve just started to show through games like “Crackdown 3.”
Havok shares Microsoft’s vision for empowering people to create worlds and experiences that have never been seen before, and we look forward to sharing more of this vision in the near future.
I will say Intel always seemed like a really poor fit for Havok tools, but I’m a bit perplexed what Microsoft is going to get out of this. They have acquired similar companies in the past, like Softimage, which they used to help move CG to Windows NT, then divested of. Caligari (Truespace) which they basically just killed off. Then the most similar acquisition is probably RenderMorphics, which they acquired then used the technology as part of Direct3D. It will be interesting to see which route Microsoft takes with Havok.