Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 25, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 25, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Autodesk To Buy Scaleform For $36M
Autodesk To Buy Scaleform For $36M
February 16, 2011 | By Kris Graft

February 16, 2011 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, Art

Major game and entertainment development tools company Autodesk on Wednesday announced its intent to acquire UI middleware company Scaleform for $36 million in cash.

The multi-million dollar deal will add Scaleform's multiplatform user interface solution Scaleform GFx to Autodesk's library of widely-used products, which includes AutoCAD, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya, among others. Autodesk claims 9 million users worldwide.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of April this year at the conclusion of publicly-held Autodesk's first fiscal quarter.

Scaleform's technology is used in around 800 games across PC and major handheld and console platforms.

Scaleform GFx allows developers to use 3D hardware to create more cinematic menus, in-game heads-up displays, animated textures, minigames and mobile games and apps.

The middleware company currently employs around 30 workers. Autodesk said that the point of the acquisition is to expand its operations, and that "It is our intent to retain the majority of Scaleform’s employees."

Autodesk Media & Entertainment VP of games Marc Stevens said in a statement that the acquisition will "further Autodesk’s ability to provide customers with more complete workflows to more rapidly develop immersive 3D and casual game experiences."

He added, "The Scaleform team will bring a wealth of expertise in creating highly optimized runtime solutions for PCs, consoles and mobile devices. We expect the integration of Scaleform to allow us to innovate faster and help further improve the game creation process for online, console, and mobile development."

Scaleform president and CEO Brendan Iribe said the deal will help his company bring its tools and expertise to "the broader interactive entertainment industry ranging from film to mobile to the web."

Scaleform's Iribe, CTO Michael Antonov and COO Marc Bennett will join the Autodesk Media & Entertainment leadership team. Scaleform's offices will remain in Greenbelt, MD.

Related Jobs

Disruptor Beam, Inc.
Disruptor Beam, Inc. — Framingham, Massachusetts, United States

Lead 3D Artist
Giant Sparrow
Giant Sparrow — Playa Vista, California, United States

Junior 3D Artist
Amazon — Seattle, Washington, United States

Event Marketing Specialist, Game Services
Digital Extremes
Digital Extremes — LONDON, Ontario, Canada



Brent Orford
profile image
I'm not quite sure how Autodesk is planning on using them (if they plan to integrate GFx editing into Max or just keep the product lines completely seperate as they are now.) I'd imagine seperate and/or bundling Scaleform with Max licensing for game developers is the way to go.

They got them for a great price regardless of how they end up using them.

Cody Scott
profile image
autodesk's business plan seems to be, "OOH! That is either a market that we are already in or would like to be in so lets buy them out now!"

Not saying it's a bad thing. but look they own Maya. Max. and softimage, and all 3 do pretty much the same thing just in different ways and each having a slightly different set of tools. But all in all still 3d modeling and animation.

Peter Bartholow
profile image
I'm actually slightly surprised nobody has tried to take Autodesk to court for an antitrust suit.

They own pretty much every single piece of essential software for making movies and games, with the exception of ZBrush.

Is the industry just not on-the-radar enough to warrant some legal investigation? Because I'd think prices could be lower if there was actual competition.

Sean Currie
profile image
Wondering this myself actually.

Alan Rimkeit
profile image
+100. This is so true. The are the Ma Bell of the 3D world and should be broken up.

Paopao Saul
profile image
At least we still have Blender... and that's free.

Peter Bartholow
profile image
By the way, is anyone else not seeing the "synergy" here?

I can understand them wanting to expand into the middleware market, but since Scaleform basically requires Flash, it seems like a strange acquisition for them.

Adobe buying Scaleform would make all kinds of sense, but Autodesk doesn't seem to add up.

Michiel Hendriks
profile image
Autodesk is going to buy Adobe. Problem solved.

Peter Bartholow
profile image
I was originally going there, but held off to see if anyone else would because it seemed too nuts.

That... would be financially impossible, wouldn't it?

Just given how much more widespread Adobe software is in use I'd imagine they'd be pretty expensive, compared to Autodesk.

Evan Combs
profile image
I would expect Adobe to buy Autodesk instead. I highly doubt Autodesk is larger than Adobe, and even if they were I highly doubt they are large enough to buy Adobe.

I could see a very profitable merger for both companies though. Right now it is basically Adobe with everything 2D and Autodesk everything 3D (yeah I know this is oversimplifying both of them), mixing them would bring together both worlds.

Honestly though the combined forces of the two might bring forth a wave of innovations for both sides. Although you might have to become their slaves in order to be able to afford the software.

Kale Menges
profile image
Wouldn't surprise me.

Christopher Whiting
profile image
Autodesk UI programming sucks. They probably just want it for the synergistic fix for all the broken UI elements they have introduced as 'features' over the last few years. The rest of the portfolio is just something they might use down the road.

One thing you have to understand is that Autodesk has no organic growth, they are purely cancerous. They must constantly expand, to grow their company or else their investors will realize how inefficient the company is and begin to bail (and then the bubble pops). Not all of their acquisitions are going to be cost effective, but considering that they just hired a (single) UI programmer six months ago, to finally work on Max's horrible UI, it is not a surprise that they are willing to just throw an additional $30M at it to make the problem go away. They also get to release all sorts of PR nonsense about how this will invigorate the company and blah blah blah. Investors eat that stuff up.

Bryan Wagstaff
profile image
What doesn't make sense to you?

They wanted 3D modeling for CAD/CAM. They picked up other great 3D modeling tools, including Maya and Max, to further that direction.

One of the biggest missing features have been 3D user interfaces. The options have been to have the modelers, animators, and programmers build a custom 3D UI system or stick with traditional 2D.

Scaleform's products fill that gap. They were rapidly growing as people discovered them for UI solutions.

I expected them to be picked up by Adobe since they integrate so nicely with so many of their tools (flash, illustrator, photoshop, after effects, premiere, etc.) and would help pull Adobe into the 3D era, but Autodesk feels like a good fit, too.