Intel wreaks Havok for $110M

Silicon Valley chipmaker scoops up Irish developer of ubiquitous physics engine for a reportedly princely sum.


Over the weekend, Silicon Valley giant Intel announced its latest acquisition. The deal, however, wasn't for a new chipmaking unit or the rumored purchase of graphics-card-maker Nvidia. Instead, Intel bought Havok, the Irish developer of the widely used physics engine of the same name.

"Havok is a proven leader in physics technology for gaming and digital content, and will become a key element of Intel's visual computing and graphics efforts," said Renee James, an Intel vice president and general manager of its Software and Solutions Group, in a statement. James said that the tech giant would allow the middleware maker to conduct "business as usual" via a hands-off management approach.

[UPDATE] The financial terms of Intel's buyout of Havok were not initially disclosed. However, Reuters reports that Irish venture capital firm TVC Holdings estimated the deal's value at around $110 million. On Monday, TVC agreed to sell its 27 percent stake in Havok for about $21 million.

Based in Dublin, Havok has been crafting digital effects and game-physics middleware for nine years, expanding its operations to San Francisco, San Antonio, Stockholm, Calcutta, Munich, and Tokyo. Its technology can be found in dozens of games, including BioShock, Stranglehold, Half Life 2, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Crackdown, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, MotorStorm, and the forthcoming Halo 3. Films, such as The Matrix, Troy, and Poseidon, have also used Havok tech.

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