Our monthly examination of great games dev middleware

Tools Spotlight: Audiokinetic

Audiokinetic is an audio middleware provider that offers specialists tools such as Wwise and SoundSeed.

Formed in 2000, the firm released the first version of its audio pipeline solution Wwise in 2006, and has shipped 19 major releases since then, with the next update expected to go public in March.

“Our goals were to enhance the audio experience in games while reducing development costs with a streamlined workflow, adapted tools, cross platform development, and a highly optimised sound engine,” says Audiokinetic co-founder Simon Ashby.

“In two words, our ambitions were to become the industry standard. It is still our ambition today and many people think that we are at this point now.”

The longstanding middleware, which has been used titles such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect 2, helps manage audio content in areas such as behaviours, dynamic mixing, localisation and platform customisation.

“It helps the audio team to be more creative by removing a lot of dependencies – on programmers or build processes – and offering a framework that allows fast iterations and runtime mixing,” explains Ashby.

As well as Wwise, the middleware provider develops other tools such as SoundSeed, a family of interactive sound generators that can help designers reduce memory usage to create audio content by using digital sound processing tech.

After the company’s success with Wwise over the last five years, Ashby says that the firm is now looking to expand into new territories with its technology, particularly into the rising Asia market.

He also reveals that it will be announcing new partnerships at GDC, such as with Boston-based audio tech outfit iZotope, which has had its products used by Ubisoft and Sony.

“The industry now sees us as a solid company with proven products,” says Ashby of the company’s future.

“Now it’s time for us to really become the industry standard by getting more studios working with us and continuing to lead the market with innovations and new workflow solutions.”

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