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Geomerics, the company behind the middleware lighting engine Enlighten, has recently been acquired by ARM, a technology and design focused group that deals with consumer electronics, networking, imaging and graphics processing. So what does this mean for Geomerics?
Technically, it doesn't mean much other than that they're now a subsidiary under the ARM... arm. Anyway, the deal sees Geomerics and all its technology and staff being pushed under the umbrella of ARM.
Pete Hutton, EVP and GM Media Processing Division, ARM, commented about the acquisition, saying...
“The innovative technologies being developed by Geomerics are already revolutionizing the console gaming experience and are set to rapidly accelerate the transition to photo realistic graphics in mobile,”... “Empowering Geomerics’ portfolio with ARM’s graphics capabilities and market reach will be transformative for the user experiences in future mobile and entertainment devices.”
ARM sought out Geomerics because of their Enlighten middleware technology. If you think this is just some wild stab in the dark and ARM is just flexing their “acquisition” muslce, think again. Geomerics' connection with the AAA business stretches far and wide, as Enlighten is used heavily throughout the console and PC gaming arena, powering games like the Frostbite 3-based Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals, CCP's EVE Online, as well as having platform support for the recently launched PS4 and Xbox One.
Dr. Chris Doran, Geomerics' CEO, shared his thoughts about the acquisition, saying...
“With lighting technologies developed by Geomerics, graphics artists can achieve truly realistic global illumination and other advanced lighting features in real time across multiple platforms today. This combination of ARM and Geomerics accelerates the realization of our vision to bring next generation console graphics to mobile devices,”
Strangely, the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. I imagine, however, ARM wanted to get in on the licensing deals that Geomerics have with various companies and publishers, as it would provide an ample stream of consistent revenue for any company that needs a lighting solution. And technically, every computer generated simulation with cutting edge effects will need a lighting solution, so it's not like Geomerics runs the risk of no longer having employment, unless of course the AAA business goes belly up. Even then, it's still completely and entirely possible for Geomerics to get licensing deals with indie and mid-tier studios, as well as advertising and graphics enthusiast firms.
As far as how this will affect gamers... well, it won't. Well, it shouldn't affect gamers so long as operations of Geomerics are largely left alone and intact. Based on some of the details of the operational setup for the company, all of the Geomerics staff will stay on board and will continue to operate and work on Enlighten like nothing ever happened. ARM also appears to want to stay out of the way of how the business operates, and is mainly there just as the typical corporate overseer.
You can learn more about the deal over on ARM's official website or you can learn more about the Enlighten middleware suite by visiting the official Geomerics website.