Geographic Information System developer Esri has acquired Procedural, a leading specialist in creating 3D buildings and urban environments.
Procedural's CityEngine is widely used in the production of both films and videogames, with the company listing Blizzard, Rockstar, Square Enix, Grasshopper Manufacture and THQ among its clients.
Esri creates GIS software for large-scale civic-planning projects, and intends to integrate CityEngine into its ArcGIS suite of products to provide its users with immediate visual feedback.
"Many GIS problems can only be solved in 3D, particularly in the area of urban development," said Esri president Jack Dangermond at the company's 2011 International User Conference. "Procedural's unique capabilities for generating high-quality 3D data, using the same GIS data our users already have, makes them a perfect match for Esri."
However, the deal doesn't signify the end of CityEngine's use as a game development tool. Procedural will continue to evolve it as a standalone product, and the company's Zurich offices will be expanded into a "leading-edge" R&D facility for urban design and 3D content creation.
"We are very excited to join forces with Esri," added Procedural CEO Dr. Pascal Mueller. "Many of our existing clients already use ArcGIS, and a closer integration between our complementary technologies presents obvious benefits."
"We're looking forward to fully leveraging our R&D capabilities, growing the CityEngine business and bringing many of the innovations we've developed at Procedural to the leading GIS solution of ArcGIS."