Microsoft buys popular 3D modelling solution Simplygon – Used by EA, Sony and more

Microsoft’s already strong position in the software market looks to have got even stronger with the acquisition of Donya Labs and its Simplygon software, one of the leading software development kits used within the gaming industry. The Simplygon API is used by a huge list of developers and publishers across a variety of platforms, including the likes of Ubisoft, EA, Sony, Nintendo, Activision and Bethesda.

Simplygon’s technology and talent will strengthen our position in 3D creation, making it easier to capture, create and share in 3D. It builds on and extends our aspirations to empower a new wave of creativity with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Paint 3D and our online creator community at Remix3D.com,” said Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda.

The way Simplygon works is by taking a complex 3D model and optimizing the data for use in game engines. A detailed model can be simplified to run smoothly on specific platforms, reducing the polygon the count by as much as 90% and lessening the strain on the GPU. This aids on rendering images on low-powered hardware. On Microsoft’s part this seems like a perfect fit for where it’s at with its Hololens AR and its imminent push for Windows 10 VR.

In this same way, Microsoft could also use Simplygon to aid in scalable games which work across a range of platforms – namely Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio. It could just license the tech for this, naturally, but Microsoft clearly sees there’s more money to be made by being in control.

Simplygon CEO Matt Connors added in a statement: “Throughout our journey, we’ve been laser focused on helping developers push the boundaries of 3D. From our early days delivering advanced level-of-detail solutions, to the adoption of Simplygon SDK by most leading AAA game development studios, and our more recent expansion into enterprise AR/VR, Simplygon has made automatic 3D data-optimization increasingly more accessible to developers.”

In theory this should all help Microsoft accelerate the pace at which it can create 3D imagery, most obviously useful in gaming applications but also to automate 3D assets. Considering the moves Microsoft has made in this area as of late, it makes heaps of sense.

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