If you’ve played a videogame in the last decade, you’ve more than likely come across Havok’s software.
Since launching the Software Development Kit (SDK) for game physics, Havok has appeared in upwards of 600 games including Triple A game franchises such as Call of Duty, Halo and Assassin’s Creed.
Now, Microsoft has announced it has acquired Havok from Intel for an undisclosed amount, adding its development tools to its already impressive arsenal, which includes DirectX 12, Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure.
Even though Microsoft effectively owns two pretty important development tools – DirectX and Havok – it has stated that it has no plans to license them exclusively for PC and Xbox games. A representative from Microsoft told IGN:
We will continue to license Havok’s technology to the broad AAA games industry. This also means that we will continue to license Havok’s technology to run across various game consoles including Sony and Nintendo.
The financial specifics of the purchase are unclear right now, as Microsoft delivered the classic “we are not discussing financial details at this time” line. To give some indication of Havok’s worth, when Intel bought the company all the way back in September of 2007, it cost $110 million.
So how does this affect the end users, those that actually play the videogames which use this software? As the transaction only just occurred, it’s difficult to comment on right now. If we’d have to hazard a guess, it’s unlikely this will shake things up too much. We’re sure there will be a lot of reshuffling and changes behind the curtains, but for the average user it should mainly remain normal.
One change, however, may be a new focus on cloud services, with Microsoft stating: “Part of this innovation will include building the most complete cloud service”. Specific mention is made of Crackdown 3; the third title in the Xbox-exclusive series. Although not released yet, Crackdown 3 will feature physics-reliant destruction that is handled by the cloud, and was shown off at this year’s Gamescom.[Source – Microsoft / IGN]