Havok looking to acquire

Havok looking to acquire
Michael French

By Michael French

December 15th 2006 at 9:30AM

The CEO of Havok has said the company is considering adding other complementary tech firms to its stable as the physics and animation firm looks to grow.

He told Develop that he had "no intention of interest in changing the current situation", adding: "We are independent and cross-platform, not just from a hardware perspective but from a publisher perspective. We have no interest in [being acquired]."

Instead, the people who should be thinking about acquisitions are those in O'Meara's sights - he confirmed that "there are companies I would like to acquire - and I have the balance sheet to do it."

Havok is fast becoming an industry standard amongst publishers and developers' next-gen production balance sheets (alongside powerful engine companies like Epic) evident in deals with every major company with a games production interest and presence in a raft of games on shelves this Christmas. Destroy All Humans 2 (Pandemic/THQ), Dead Rising (Capcom), Happy Feet (Midway), Splinter Cell Double Agent (Ubisoft) and Tony Hawk's Project 8 (Neversoft/Acitivision) are just a handful of the games recently released that use the physics technology.

This week Lionhead/Microsoft confirmed that Havok’s technology will be used for Fable 2, while the tool firm has also had a big hand in a number of PS3 launch games and will be used in upcoming Rockstar title LA Noire.

Instead, the people who should be thinking about acquisitions are those in O'Meara's sights - he confirmed that "there are companies I would like to acquire - and I have the balance sheet to do it."

Electronic Arts' acquisition of Criterion in 2004 caused a mid-generation headache for many developers and publishers who discovered that an independent third-party tool, Renderware, now lay in the hands of a rival.

A similar occurrence happening to the likes of Havok would prove a nightmare as a new generation of consoles take flight – but Havok chief David O'Meara says publishers shouldn't worry.

O'Meara added: "We're not interested in acquiring mediocre companies or brands, but will go as far as we can in filling out on a modular basis every single piece of our portfolio, so that we can provide all media companies a comprehensive range of services."

Look out for the full interview with David O'Meara in the next issue of Develop.