Havok Announces Project Anarchy, A Totally Free Engine For 3D Mobile Games

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Even if you’ve got no idea what the Havok engine is, you’ve probably seen it in use before. Name a best-selling video game, and the odds that it’s using Havok in one way or another are pretty huge. Halo 4? Check. Assassins Creed? Check. Skyrim, Uncharted, or Call Of Duty? Check, check, check.

This morning at GDC, Havok announced Project Anarchy, a 3D engine for mobile games that they plan to release this spring. The twist? They don’t want your money.

If you’ve never dabbled with 3D gaming engines before, here’s all you’ve gotta know: the licensing can be… sticky. While most of them offer up evaluation licenses of some sort, they generally expect you to cough up a chunk of change once you start making any significant amount of money. There are definitely exceptions to this trend (see: the fantastic Unity3D, which has a free product but charges by developer seat for Pro features, and Irrlicht or Ogre3D, both of which are free and open-source), but most of the big-name engines (Source, Unreal, CryENGINE) have stuck to this licensing model for years.

So why would Havok just give away its new mobile engine? Out of the kindness of their hearts? Perhaps. But remember: Intel bought Havok in 2007. Intel is making a hard push into mobile. People love mobile games. If Intel can make sure Intel-powered phones run a few hugely popular games better than anyone else’s phones, it works out to more OEMs stuffing Intel chips in their handsets moving forward.

Interested developers can sign up for news on the project here, with initial availability expected sometime this Spring.