Microsoft has just folded one of the industry's premiere and leading 3D physics providers into its massive ecosystem, giving the Redmond-based tech giant a huge home field advantage.
"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 the official announcement. "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 is used in pretty much every game with a 3D environment. If you pick up any game released in the last 15 years or so, odds are that it will have Havok's logo on the back. The suite has powered tens of thousands of games across the entire spectrum of gaming, from yesteryear consoles like the PS2 and GameCube to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as an entirely galaxy of PC games. Picking up Havok is a monumental step forward for Microsoft and gives them a massive new armament to have priority for its first-party Xbox One exclusives as well as AR games with the HoloLens.
Microsoft affirms that just because it now owns Havok it won't monopolize the games industry anytime soon. Havok's massive array of powerful software--3D physics engines, animations suite, and destructible environments--will continue to be licensed out like normal. Only this time Microsoft will take a cut as the parent company.
We still don't know how much Microsoft paid to acquire Havok but given the high status of its software, the price was likely pretty substantial.