Havok, a video game development software firm that is owned by Intel Corp., said this week that it had signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Ubisoft, a leading game publisher, to use Havok’s software and middleware products in upcoming titles across all platforms. The decision will allow Ubisoft to use industry-standard tools better suited for multi-threading hardware.
Potentially, the announcement may mean that Ubisoft will stop using Nvidia PhysX engines for physics effects and will utlize Havok’s technologies going forward. In addition, this means that Ubisoft’s games will be able to take more advantage of multi-core central processing units and graphics processing units. Ubisoft has already used various Havok's middleware products in such franchises as Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Prince of Persia, Shaun White Snowboarding, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.
“Ubisoft consistently delivers many of the greatest brands in the video games industry and we are thrilled to be named as its long-standing middleware partner. Havok offers the best solutions across all gaming platforms. We believe in providing the most advanced technology to developers while backing our unmatched expertise with first class global support,” said David O'Meara, Managing Director of Havok.
The two companies did not name which of Havok’s middleware will be used for future games. At present Havok’s family includes six key products:
- Havok AI – provides developers with an optimized cross-platform SDK to perform navigation mesh generation, pathfinding and path following in highly dynamic game environments.
- Havok Animation – a fast and flexible animation SDK and tool chain that provide optimized playback and real-time blending on current and next-generation game systems.
- Havok Behavior – a system for developing event-driven character behaviors in a game.
- Havok Cloth – a platform-optimized runtime and toolset that increases the believability of game characters and environments. It allows character designers to go beyond simplistic tight-fitting or hand-animated clothing, and to add believable, physically-based motion to garments like skirts, capes, shirts, trousers and coats, as well other deformable items like hair, bellies or tails.
- Havok Destruction – a cross-platform tool for simulation of rigid body destruction.
- Havok Physics – a real-time collision detection and physical simulation solution.
“We’ve always appreciated Havok's willingness to listen and work with us on serious and sophisticated commercial and technical issues. Havok goes the extra mile to understand the complexities of our business and the challenges development teams face,” said Pierre Escaich, studio operations director of Ubisoft.
Earlier this year Havok signed multi-year agreements with high-quality game developers Capcom and Microsoft Game Studios.