Microsoft has purchased physics simulation software Havok from intel.
Havok has become the go-to middleware for games developers seeking to include realistic physics in 3D games. These days, it’s hard to find a game that doesn’t use it, whether that’s to facilitate actual gameplay mechanics (Tomb Raider‘s physics puzzles) or just to increase immersion and cause objects and characters to behave realistically (Dark Souls, Mad Max). In fact, Havok has apparently been used in over 600 games since its launch waaaay back in 2000.
Microsoft says that it intends to leverage Havok for its cloud computing solution, Azure. Crackdown 3 is one upcoming Xbox One game that relies heavily on Azure for the physics-based destruction in its online multiplayer modes, and Microsoft has confirmed it will be using the newly-acquired software for that exclusive, as well as using the solution for future games.
Developers for other platforms (and multiple platforms) need not fret, however: Microsoft has said that it intends to continue licensing Havok out to developers for use in their games. It just means that Microsoft will now be able to enjoy those lucrative licensing fees, giving the Redmond giant yet another substantial revenue stream.
“Microsoft’s acquisition of Havok continues our tradition of empowering developers by providing them with the tools to unleash their creativity to the world,” Microsoft said in a statement. “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.”