Microsoft Buys 3D Physics Developer Havok

Microsoft have bought Havok, the company behind industry leading 3D physics tools used in over 600 gaming titles, it has been announced.

The Havok engine is used under license by various game studios and the technology has previously featured in multiple popular franchises including Call Of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Halo, The Elder Scrolls, and many more.

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In a blog post detailing Havok’s acquisition by the firm, Microsoft said:

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.

Prior to the buy-out Havok have partnered with not only Microsoft, but also Sony & Nintendo, as well as third-party developers such as Ubisoft and EA.

Speaking to IGN regarding the move forward, Microsoft confirmed that nothing will be changing in that regard, saying they will “continue to license Havok’s technology to the broad AAA games industry […] to run across various game consoles including Sony and Nintendo.”

Microsoft have declined to comment on the financial aspect of the aquisition.


Source: Microsoft, IGN.

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10 Comments

  1. Glad to see MS isn’t restricting use of the Havok engine to just xbox and windows games.

  2. I know they say they will provide the engine for anyone who pays for it, but it still feels like lately Microsoft is eating up a lot of companies.

    • I don’t think you needed the word “lately” there. They have been doing it for years particularly with Windows, any third party applications that did a good job were often snapped up and incorporated into the next version.

    • Eating up a lot of companies? Please enlighten us on this? The only company I feel that they did wrong on, is RARE but apart from that they are just another company doing what another company does to keep business flowing

  3. That bit that says they’ll “continue to license” the technology isn’t necessarily as good as it sounds.

    That could mean “we’ll continue to license it, but don’t expect any new features or improvements unless you’re developing for Windows/XBox”. Or you may find that anything affecting other platforms might be sat at the bottom of the list of things to fix/improve for years while the tiniest issue affecting MS platforms gets fixed quickly.

    On the other hand, they might be happy to let it be developed as it has been so far and not interfere too much. MS haven’t had too much of a problem in the past with making money from competing platforms. Allegedly making more money from Android than their own phone OS? Still selling Minecraft for other platforms? They could be quite happy to make money from Playstation games to help prop up the failing XBox.

  4. Clever move on their part but i’m wondering if going forward they might hardcode the Havok tech into their own future devices, whilst allowing others only the option of implementation through software.

    • I am also fearing the same thing, or as MrYd put it – other company’s issues might become less and less important.

      I am not saying we should all put our tinfoil hats on and be afraid, just….monopoly status doesn’t always go well for the little people,for the customers :p

  5. I guess it puts an end to the rumours they aren’t into gaming anymore. It creates a win win situation as they’ll be making money from competitors products, like the Minecraft acquisition.

    • It certainly doesn’t end the rumours, it fuels them even more.

      Xbox loses Microsoft ALOT of money, billions each year. Going back to software and licencing models suggests game over to me. Setting up a new revenue stream before putting down a terminally ill existing one.

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