FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OXFORD, UK and CARY, NC - February 13, 2008 - NaturalMotion Ltd. and Epic Games, Inc. today announced a licensing agreement to incorporate morpheme, the industry's first graphically authorable animation engine for PLAYSTATION ® 3, Xbox 360 TM and PC, into Epic's Unreal Engine 3 (UE3), the most popular game engine for cross-platform game development. Under the terms of the agreement, NaturalMotion will join Epic's prestigious Integrated Partners Program (IPP), and its technology will be immediately available to any publishers or developers licensing UE3.
morpheme builds on the existing UE3 character system by offering unique features for constructing very complex animation setups. Its external tool, morpheme: connect, enables developers to preview and modify elements in real time through the strategic application of state machines and blend trees. Like other components of UE3, morpheme's existing animation nodes can be extended to provide game-specific functions. Future feature sets developed by NaturalMotion will be incorporated into UE3 per the partnership.
"Unreal Engine 3 is already an inspired game design platform, offering much of the bleeding edge technology that developers need," said Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. "By adding morpheme to Epic's suite, more studios will be able to take advantage of NaturalMotion's pioneering animation technology, allowing for a whole new generation of games with astonishingly realistic characters and animations."
"We aim to provide our licensees with the very best solutions in game development, and we are pleased to offer integration with NaturalMotion's highly refined animation middleware through this partnership," said Dr. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games. "Enhancing UE3 in this manner will save our licensees time, and help them stay focused on optimizing their games. NaturalMotion offers outstanding animation technology, and we welcome them to the Integrated Partners Program."
Epic Games' Integrated Partners Program (IPP) establishes a formal business relationship with exceptional companies making cross-platform technologies which integrate with, and are complementary to, UE3. Under the IPP, Epic provides continuous UE3 source code access and full technical support to IPP members. Companies who join the IPP agree to provide a high level of technical support for UE3 licensees through Epic's established support channels, keep their implementations up-to-date with the latest engine versions, and collaborate with Epic on potential promotional and co-marketing efforts.
"With morpheme, the implementation of character animations within the game can finally be driven by our animators instead of our engineers," said Stephen Palmer, VP of Product Development at Gearbox Software. "The brilliant folks at NaturalMotion have recognized that artists need to have more control of this fundamentally artistic process, and have created a world-class animation system and tool-chain to support that concept."
NaturalMotion Ltd. is the first company to create 3D character animation software based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS), a technology that utilizes Adaptive Behaviours and artificial intelligence to simulate the human nervous system. Based on Oxford University research on the control of body movements, NaturalMotion's euphoria synthesizes 3D character animation in real time on PLAYSTATION ® 3, Xbox 360 TM and PC, thus creating unique game moments and previously unachievable interactivity. NaturalMotion's other DMS product, endorphin, creates off-line animation an order of magnitude faster than traditional techniques, and is widely used in the film and games industries, with customers such as Sony, Giant Killer Robots, The Mill, Capcom, Namco and Konami. NaturalMotion's third product, morpheme, is the industry's first graphically authorable animation engine designed to give animators full control over the look of their animations in-game.
For further information, please visit NaturalMotion's website www.naturalmotion.com, or join the 80,000 endorphin LE users at community.naturalmotion.com.
About Unreal Engine 3
The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics and best-of-breed toolset. Unreal Engine 3 maintains those features while adding massive world support, multi-processor support, next-generation console optimizations, and one of the most mature tool pipelines in the industry. Unreal Engine 3's new toolset is designed specifically to accelerate developers' productivity for ultra-complex, next-generation content. Additional information on Unreal Engine can be obtained through the Unreal Technology Web site at www.unrealtechnology.com.
About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its Unreal series, recently shipping Unreal Tournament 3 for PC and PLAYSTATION ® 3. Epic's breakthrough game, Gears of War, sold over 4 million copies and was awarded overall Game of the Year for 2006 by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, Game Developers Choice Awards, GameSpot, GamePro and many others. Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including the Game Critics Awards' Best Console Game and Spike TV's 2007 RPG of the Year Mass Effect by BioWare, and the 2007 BAFTA Best Game and Spike TV Game of the Year BioShock by 2K Games. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder, and three-time consecutive winner, of Game Developer magazine's Front Line award for Best Game Engine. Epic was also recognized as 2006 Studio of the Year by Spike TV, Developer of the Year by Official Xbox Magazine and 2007 Large Company of the Year by the North Carolina Technology Association. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through the Epic Games Web site at www.epicgames.com.
Epic, Epic Games, Unreal, Unreal Tournament and Gears of War are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. ® morpheme, euphoria, endorphin and Dynamic Motion Synthesis are trademarks of NaturalMotion Ltd. Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. "PLAYSTATION" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other brand names, product names, service marks or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
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