Blizzard licenses Havok Physics technology for cross-platform game development

Havok, the premier provider of interactive software and services to digital creators in the game and film industries, announces today that Blizzard Entertainment® has licensed Havok 4.0, the market-leading game-play physics and animation solution.

“Havok 4.0 will add power and flexibility to our development process,” said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, in the press release. “We’re looking forward to utilizing this technology with our upcoming games.”

Released in July this year, Havok 4.0 is a modular suite of artist tools and run-time technology that enhances Havok’s industry-leading game-play physics and animation products (Havok Physics™ and Havok Animation™). It also introduced two new products – Havok Behavior™ and Havok FX™.

With Havok 4.0, game developers can select from a modular suite of technologies and tools spanning game-play physics, character animation, behaviors and special effects, optimized for the widest range of platforms, including Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) much-anticipated “PLAYSTATION®3” computer entertainment system, Microsoft’s 64bit Windows operating system, and now Apple Mac.

Jeff Yates, Havok’s Vice President, Product Management comments in the press release, “The Mac is an important piece of technology and because of the cross-platform nature of Havok’s technology, the port to Mac was easy to do. Furthermore, Blizzard Entertainment’s commitment to OS X and to the Mac community is a good indication of the growth potential of the Mac as a games platform. Blizzard has always put out great games on the Mac, and we look forward to Havok becoming a part of that tradition.”

More info here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Stoo” for the heads up.]


  1. This is posted not because its a slow news day but because this is a huge story. Havoc is a great engine that has powered many great games. It means gaming on the Mac is going to get better and Blizzard at least is planning on using the Mac’s Intel internals from OS X not from Windows. Hopefully other developers do the same.

  2. Well, what’s interesting about this?

    First, Blizzard has never let down the Mac community. The Mac is a full partner in Blizzard releases.

    In World of Warcraft, for instance, the releases are simultaneous and we enjoy the same level of functionality as Windows users do, and in some cases more.

    World of Warcraft is a highly addictive MMORPG for those of you who’ve been under a rock since 2004, with 7 million users worldwide, each paying $15/month to enjoy the game, and no small number of them are Mac users.

    For those of you from Rio Linda, they’re taking in a billion dollars per year from WoW alone.


    I sometimes wonder if I could find a way to prove that when you bring the Mac users aboard, that’s a harbinger of success. Consider the all the MMORPGs that did not include Mac users, or included them as a pathetic after thought (like Ever Quest) never achieved anywhere near the success of WoW.

    Interestingly enough, while playing the other day I mused completely coincidentally, that one thing WoW needs is a better physics engine.

    Why is it you can be show with an arrow, through a rock?

  3. Sure, now after how many years? They said they would a long time ago so that Cyan Worlds could make a Mac compatible version of URU. Now years later after reneging, and after we have Boot Camp, they say okay?

    Fairweather friend.

  4. I sometimes wonder if I could find a way to prove that when you bring the Mac users aboard, that’s a harbinger of success.

    It probably can’t be proven, but I’d bet there’s a correlation. Beyond increasing your base of potential customers (maybe by as much as 20%, if recent college surveys are a good indicator of Mac penetration among young people), supporting the Mac just shows you really care about your product. Going Windows-only is the bean-counters route, the cheapest way out. People who take the cheapest way usually do so in every area.

  5. “… if recent college surveys are a good indicator of Mac penetration among young people), supporting the Mac just shows you really care about your product….”

    I agree, but there’s something else, something intangible. I believe that we (Mac user) tend to be on the vanguard of technology, the bleeding edge, more often than not.

    We’re very vocal about tech we like. I’ve probably borught 15 PC users into World of Warcraft. Had they not had a Mac version, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the software.

    I believe this happens more than people think. I also think there’s a case to be made for bringing out the best products on the Mac first, to generate the “cool buzz.”

    Look at the iPod itself. It was first available only for Mac users. Windows people struggled to get software to make it work with Windows. Yet the iPod generated stored coolness like potential energy and when Apple released iTunes for Windows, it exploded.

    I believe that more often than not, PC users want what we have.

  6. I agree with the point above where companies that support the Mac is sometimes a harbinger to success. Blizzard is a great example. On the flip side, SSI (Strategic Simulations), who made such great games as Panzer General, had half-assed Mac support. Their games were very addictive. I wrote them back in the day to ask for better Mac support. Heck, I would settle for ANY Mac support for some of their titles. They flat out refused. “Small market share, blah blah blah…” Now years later, they no longer exist. In fact, it’s the same story with some of the other companies that refused to support the Mac. I wonder how many of them would’ve found a profitable niche in the Mac market had they even tried.

  7. Now if we could only get GSM 6.10 Ventrilo codec support, the Mac would be right there with every PC in WoW. My guild and several others have switched to Speex codec, but there are always groans from the PC side since it is different from the standard default config.

  8. The effect we are looking for is called positive feedback. The more developers OS X gets on board, the more attractive the Mac becomes to prospective customers, resulting in more switchers. This in turn attracts more developers. And the cycle continues for another round. With the Mac’s and OS X’s superiority, once a certain market share is reached, the WinTel empire will – IMHO — rapidly collapse into a much small domain.

    It’s similar to what happens co-evolution between winners and losers for the battle over an ecological niche. In the Triassic era, the first dinosaurs took over from the ancient reptiles because the former – starting out with a tiny presence — had far superior features, especially in the leg and hip structures for locomotion. It took time, but the switch occurred with stunning speed after a certain success threshold was reached.

    WinTel is faced with fossilhood. Good riddance.

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