Software

Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play

Don't worry – it promises to play nice with others

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco

27 SHARE

Top physics engine for 3D gaming Havok has been scooped up by Microsoft, which has inked a deal with Intel to buy the outfit for an undisclosed sum.

"Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator," Microsoft crowed in a blog post announcing the purchase.

It added: "We saw an opportunity to acquire Havok to deliver great experiences for our fans."

Microsoft uses Havok in its popular Halo series of games, but many other leading games companies have also licensed Havok's software over the years – including Activision, EA, Nintendo, Sony, and Ubisoft, among others – and the Havok engine has provided physics for hundreds of game titles.

Microsoft said it still planned to license Havok to these and other customers, even as it brings development and maintenance of the software under its own roof.

Havok was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Chipzilla acquired the firm in 2007 – for how much, we're not certain – and has maintained it as an independent subsidiary with offices in Dublin, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, and a few cities in Germany.

It's not yet clear to what degree this independence will be maintained under Microsoft.

Redmond did say, however, that one of its immediate goals was to further integrate Havok physics into its Azure-powered Xbox One Cloud. Massive-scale, cloud-calculated physics is one of the most anticipated features of Microsoft Studios' forthcoming Crackdown 3, which is expected to ship sometime in mid-2016.

Havok's main competitor in the gaming physics space is Nvidia, which has licensed its own PhysX technology for use in more than 150 games. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

27 Comments

More from The Register

Nvidia adds nine nifty AI supercomputing containers to the cloud

Now you can splash out on tons of GPUs if you really need to

AI caramba! Nvidia devs get a host of new kit to build smart systems

Kubernetes for GPUs, a PyTorch extension, TensorRT 4, and much, much more

AI, AI, Pure: Nvidia cooks deep learning GPU server chips with NetApp

Pure Storage's AIRI reference architecture probably a bit jelly

Try our new driverless car software says Nvidia, as it suspends driverless car trials

Post crash test hits share price

Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience

GPU shortage equals four-month wait time for buyers

Nvidia quickly kills its AMD-screwing GeForce 'partner program' amid monopoly probe threat

GPU giant rails against rumors of stiffing sellers

If you have cash to burn, racks to fill, problems to brute-force, Nvidia has an HGX-2 for you

GTC Taiwan Imagine one giant virtual GPU at 2PFLOPS

Nvidia reports record revenues in latest fiscal quarter

But cryptocurrency not growing for the GPU giants

Yay for Nvidia, GPU giant report decent first quarter results despite recent setbacks

There's still not enough GPUs to go round however

Gone in 60.121 seconds: Your guide to the pricey new gear Nvidia teased at its annual GPU fest

GTC Yours if you can afford it... and wait long for the fabs to make the chips