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Microsoft buys physics engine behind Halo and Call of Duty

Havok was previously owned by Intel

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Microsoft has scooped up a valuable video game industry mainstay, Irish physics firm Havok, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced in a blog post today. Havok, which licenses its technology to nearly every game maker under the sun, is known best for helping power the realistic motion of bodies, bullets, and vehicles in franchises like Halo and Call of Duty. Havok is also known for powering movie special effects for films like The Matrix and Troy.

Intel bought Havok in 2007, and Microsoft has now acquired it from the chip maker with plans to integrate the physics engine tech into the existing Windows and Xbox game developer toolsets. Those include the Direct X12 suite of game programming APIs, the VisualStudio app development kit, and Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, which most recently was shown powering a stunning real-time destructive environment in the upcoming crime game Crackdown 3. Microsoft plans to continue letting Havok licensing its technology as it has been.