Havok strikes long-term deal with Ubisoft for upcoming game titles

7 Oct 2009

One of the world’s biggest computer-game publishers, Ubisoft, has signed a long-term deal with Dublin-headquartered games-technology company Havok to feature the Intel-owned Irish firm’s technology across all upcoming game platforms.

Havok, the Emmy award-winning technology company which was bought by Intel in recent years for US$100 million, uses a combination of next-generation physics, animation and tools to reach new standards of realism and interactivity in gaming technology and essentially turn their customers’ creative aspirations into technical realities.

The move builds on Ubisoft’s long-standing usage of Havok’s middleware products in blockbuster franchises such 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,” said Havok CEO David O’Meara.

“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,” O’Meara added.

Havok’s physics software is featured in more than 200 triple-A games available on store shelves today.

With more than 90 games in development for release this year, use of Havok’s ubiquitous software is up 100pc for the same period last year. Best-selling titles featuring Havok physics include Halo 3, Guitar Hero III, BioShock, World in Conflict, Half Life 2: The Orange Box and Heavenly Sword.

Other Havok products include Havok Cloth, a new tool used for animating the behaviour of character garments and environmental cloth, and Havok Destruction, which gives the game artist total control over the simulation of destructible game objects, such as shattering glass and splintering wood.

Havok’s latest product, called Havok AI, provides developers with unique solutions to perform pathfinding and advanced character interaction in highly dynamic game environments.

“We’ve always appreciated Havok’s willingness to listen and work with us on serious and sophisticated commercial and technical issues,” said Pierre Escaich, studio operations director of Ubisoft.

“Havok goes the extra mile to understand the complexities of our business and the challenges development teams face,” Escaich said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: David O’Meara, Havok CEO.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years