GDC: Emergent news emerges

GDC: Emergent news emerges
Michael French

By Michael French

March 9th 2007 at 1:00AM

Tools firm Emergent has made a number of announcements at GDC, including details of its PS3-supporting tech, new licensees and key staff hires.

The company has expanded the cross-platform capabilities of its Gamebryo Element, extending the engine and toolset for PlayStation 3 developers.

Version 2.2.2 of the engine comes with a number of improvements, including integration with Sony's PS3 SDK, cross-platform API Floodgate to support development using SPUs and an update of editing tool Scene Designer. The new version can also be integrated with the 360 DSK and Ageia's PhysX.

The new Gamebryo already has a key licensee in the form of Bethesda, which used the tool to produce the PS3 version of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

"Oblivion has been hailed as one of the most beautiful games ever made, and we expect it to set the same high standard on the PS3," commented Vlatko Andonov, Bethesda president. "Gamebryo provides us with a great platform for next-generation cross-platform development."

Gamebryo stablemate Emergent Elements also has a new customer - Online Alchemy has selected the full suite of tools to develop an upcoming MMO.

"There are many choices out there for game engines and other development tools. Some are too expensive and ungainly, others are too cheap and narrowly targeted. Emergent offered us a complete and flexible set of existing and upcoming tools and services that can help us develop strong MMO offerings today and also future-proof our development going forward," said Mike Sellers, CEO of Online Alchemy. "This comprehensive, long-term license demonstrates our commitment to Emergent and their vision of product growth."

Plus, emergent has bolstered its key exec and tech personnel with the hiring of C++ pioneer Stanley Lippman and EA's David Gregory and Lee Fancey.

Lippman previously worked as C++ architect for both Microsoft and Bell Labs, and worked in feature animation at DreamWorks and Walt Disney. Fancey and Gregory, meanwhile, are EA vets, having worked on Maxis games The Sims 2 and Spore and developing key internal policies at the publisher-developer regarding best practices and from source content builds. The trio will, at Emergent, be tasked with working towards solving major pipeline issues in collaboration with other in-house engineers.