Microsoft just bought a company from Intel that powered the special effects in 'The Matrix'

The MatrixWarner Bros.Havok software provided some special effects for The Matrix.

Microsoft has purchased Havok — a company which provides tools to help game developers simulate three-dimensional physics — from Intel, the company announced today.

“Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator,” Microsoft said in a blog entry.

First founded in Dublin, Ireland circa 1998, Intel bought Havok in 2007 to accelerate its play in the gaming market.

Havok’s business model involves licensing its physics technology to developers. Microsoft did not disclose terms of the acquisition.

Basically, developers turn to Havok when they need to simulate realistic physics in their games. Smash hit game franchises like “Halo,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Call of Duty,” and “Destiny” all use Havok under the hood to make sure that when you throw a grenade, it bounces off the walls and skitters to a halt just so.

Havok has also made its way to Hollywood: Big-time movies like “The Matrix” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” used Havok’s software to power their special effects.

According to Microsoft, the licensing-based business model won’t change.

But for Microsoft developers who are planning on using the company’s new DirectX 12 graphics display technology, the Visual Studio programming software, or the company’s Microsoft Azure supercomputing cloud, Havok will be an integrated option that will make it easier for them to drop it in.

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Havok continues our tradition of empowering developers by providing them with the tools to unleash their creativity to the world,” Microsoft says in that blog entry.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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