Microsoft announced today that it had purchased Havok Software from Intel. The chip maker purchased Havok, an Irish gaming technology company, back in September, 2007.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a short blog post, Microsoft called Havok the “leading provider of 3D physics.” That’s the core of this; Microsoft, as a company, is working on both gaming, and augmented reality. In short, its Xbox and Hololens projects require that the software giant have the best tooling possible.
To better understand why Microsoft would want Havok as part of its portfolio of technologies, the following line from a VentureBeat story concerning a new product from the company is illuminating: “Havok FX is a graphical effects tech aimed at PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.”
Two of those, you will note, are decidedly inside the Microsoft wheelhouse. And if you want to win not only the console battle, but the platform struggle that will come next — whether that will be virtual reality, or augmented reality, we will see — sometimes you staff up.
Havok has some experienced staff. They have been at this for 15 years, and according to the company website, their technology can be found in 600 titles including popular games like Halo, The Elder Scrolls, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Uncharted, Dead Rising and Skylanders to name but a few.
Havok isn’t just in games either, its special effects have been found in movies like X-Men First Class, World War Z, Harry Potter, James Bond, and The Matrix — not too shabby.
If Microsoft continues its pattern of working with other platforms, then it would make sense to continue to support the competition, as well as Microsoft products moving forward, but time will tell how they handle it.