Microsoft acquires physics middleware creator Havok

microsoft buys havok crash
Microsoft has acquired middleware developer Havok, creator of flexible physics software that powers many popular games for consoles and PCs.

The purchase makes Havok a part of Microsoft’s suite of development software, giving licensed developers access to the middleware alongside other key game-creation components for Windows platforms including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Microsoft Azure.

Founded in 1998, Havok is known primarily for its middleware suite, which includes the Havok Physics game engine component. Havok Physics offers a reusable, real-time approach to collision detection and other physics-driven elements at the core of many 3D games, including “ragdoll” physics that manifest when in-game characters are killed, knocked out, or otherwise tossed around limply.

Games that use Havok Physics include Mortal Kombat X, The Last of Us, Dota 2, Destiny, the Dark Souls series, and the Assassin’s Creed series. Havok’s middleware suite also includes related components like Havok Animation Studio, Havok Cloth, and Havok Destruction.

Microsoft purchased Havok from Intel, who previously acquired the company in 2007. Following the Microsoft buyout, Havok notes that it “will continue to work with developers to create great games experiences, and continue to license Havok’s development tools to third party partners.”

“Havok is a fantastic technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real time physics creator,” the companies stated in a joint press release. “We saw an opportunity to partner together to deliver great experiences for our fans.”

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Havok continues our tradition of empowering developers by providing them with the tools to unleash their creativity to the world,” the statement continues. “We will continue to innovate for the benefit of development partners.”

The purchase bolsters Microsoft’s current focus on cloud-powered processing for its games. The companies noted that the Havok middleware plays a crucial role in the development of the upcoming Xbox One open-world action game Crackdown 3, which uses cloud processing to render real-time destructible environments in its online multiplayer component.

Mobile

Amazon cuts prices on Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 3 smartwatches

In the market for a new smartwatch? The Apple Watch is the best one, and right now it's a little more affordable than it usually is. The Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 3 are both available at discounted prices straight from…
Gaming

From the most 'Toasty!' to the least, here are the Mortal Kombat games ranked

The Mortal Kombat franchise has provided shocking delights and spilled copious pints of blood since 1992. With Mortal Kombat 11 out now for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, we decided to rank the mainline fighting series from best to worst.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Gaming

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.
Computing

AMD's upcoming Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Working hard or hardly working? Do it right with these versatile PC desks

Looking for a new piece of furniture that will fit in your office, dorm, or gaming cave? Here are some of our favorite computer desks on the market, whether you're a serious gamer looking for an upgrade, or just moved into a new space.
Gaming

Persona 5 The Royal due in 2020, will introduce new character and story chapter

Details for Persona 5 The Royal, an enhanced re-release of the original game, have been revealed in a new trailer from Atlus. The Royal introduces a new character that joins the Phantom Thieves and improves the overall experience.
Gaming

Collected ’em all? Here are 10 collection-based RPGs Pokémon fans should try

The Pokémon games offer more than 700 monsters to catch and train, sure, but what do you do once you've caught 'em all? These 10 Pokémon-style games will help you find your next fix when need a new set of critters to catch and train.
Gaming

Anthem Act 1 features and content delayed, including Cataclysm world event

The features and events from Act 1 in the Anthem road map are taking a backseat as the developers work on the game's direction while bluntly stating that the online shooter is a long way from being the game they want it to be.
Gaming

15 Nintendo Switch games you should play in handheld mode

The Nintendo Switch's handheld mode is more than a convenient way to play games -- it's also the preferable way for some titles. Here are 15 Nintendo Switch games you should play in handheld mode.
Gaming

These are all the games we want to see from Square Enix at E3 2019

Square Enix will once again hold its own press conference for E3 2019. These are the games we want the company to show during the event, including the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Gaming

Days Gone will receive free post-launch DLC starting in June

Days Gone launches this week and the developers are already setting the stage for post-launch content. Starting in June with the Survivor mode, Bend Studio will begin releasing weekly free updates that include various challenges.
Computing

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.
Product Review

Something's rotten in Days Gone, and it's not the zombies

Days Gone’s predictable story is littered with repetitive missions, shoddy stealth and gunplay, and needless survival mechanics. It’s riddled with performance issues, like janky animations and consistent framerate drops.