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In a surprise announcement, 3ds Max and Maya owner Autodesk has revealed that it has acquired Avid's Softimage business unit for $35 million, uniting three of the most-used and formerly competing 3D game art construction tools under the same roof - compan

Simon Carless, Blogger

October 24, 2008

2 Min Read

In a surprise announcement, 3ds Max and Maya owner Autodesk has revealed that it has acquired Avid's Softimage business unit for $35 million, uniting three of the most-used and formerly competing 3D game art construction tools under the same roof. A dominant player in the market, Autodesk acquired Maya creator Alias in early 2006, and since then has continued its expansion, also purchasing Mudbox creator Skybox in late 2007 and AI firm Kynogon in early 2008. Softimage was founded in 1986 by Daniel Langlois; its flagship product is Softimage|XSI, an extensible 3D animation software solution used by game companies including Ubisoft, Capcom, and Sega as well as major CG companies. However, the division is a reasonably small portion of Avid, which also produced industry-leading editing and media asset management software and hardware, and which evidently decided to divest its Softimage division to Autodesk. According to an official statement released by the two companies, "Upon completion of the acquisition, Autodesk intends to continue developing and selling Softimage's core product line, while integrating certain Softimage technology into future versions of Autodesk solutions and products." Autodesk plans to acquire and continue developing the following Softimage products: - SOFTIMAGE|XSI: Including XSI Essentials, XSI Advanced, XSI Academic, XSI Mod Tool and the XSI software development kit. - SOFTIMAGE|Face Robot: A complete software solution for easily rigging and animating 3D faces. - SOFTIMAGE|Cat: This advanced character animation system is a plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software. It is intended to be integrated into the 3ds Max product line. - SOFTIMAGE|Crosswalk: This interoperability solution is intended to be integrated with Autodesk's own interoperability technology." Marc Petit, senior vice president of Autodesk Media & Entertainment, commented, "As we have demonstrated since the acquisition of Alias in 2006, we're committed to giving our customers choice when it comes to their 3D tools. We plan to maintain and grow the Softimage product line, and through Autodesk FBX provide better interoperability between Softimage products, 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya. "FBX also provides interoperability between Softimage products and our specialized applications such as Autodesk Mudbox, Autodesk MotionBuilder, Autodesk ImageModeler and Autodesk Stitcher, as well as numerous third-party applications."

About the Author(s)

Simon Carless

Blogger

Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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