Autodesk has acquired Bitsquid and its game engine of the same name, marking the tools firm's first foray into the engine space.
While terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, Autodesk has confirmed that it will continue to work with the various studios using Bitsquid to create games for next-generation consoles and PCs. It has also acquired the team behind Bitsquid and will be using the team's experience to develop a new Autodesk 3D game engine.
The Bitsquid engine has been used in a variety of games such as Paradox Interactive's War of the Roses and upcoming PS4 top-down shooter Helldivers.
It's an interesting move from the firm given the increasingly heated competition between the established engines. Epic Games unveiled Unreal Engine 4 at GDC back in March, announcing it would be available to anyone for $19 per month. Shortly after, Crytek announced the new price of $10 per month for CryEngine. Both moves have been seen as a challenge to the affordable and popular Unity engine.
You can check out our interview with Autodesk's director of game solutions Frank Delise here, in which he reveals how the firm believes it can compete in the engine race.
Meanwhile. the retained Bitsquid team will also help to create new tools for real-time 3D visualisation that can be used outside the games industry, in fields such as architecture, manufacturing, construction and film.
"Autodesk's acquisition of Bitsquid will revolutionise real-time exploration of complex data," said Autodesk's SVP for media and entertainment. "Imagine being able to walk through and explore any type of design, from buildings to cars, with the same freedom you experience in the open world of a next-generation console game.
"Game engine technologies will be an increasingly critical part of the workflow, not only for creating games but also for designing buildings or solving complex urban infrastructure challenges. The Bitsquid acquisition brings to Autodesk both the expertise and the technology that will enable us to deliver an ground-breaking new approach to 3D design animation tools, and we welcome the team and community to Autodesk."