March 18, 2012
Gamasutra is reporting that Simutronics, who developed HeroEngine which, in turn, is being used by BioWare in Star Wars: The Old Republic, is reorganizing to support the growth of their engine business:
[Simutronics], founded in 1987, will now be home to two new divisions: HeroEngine and Simutronics Games. The company promoted Neil Harris to president of HeroEngine, overlooking licensee support, and Herb Marselas as VP of engineering. CEO David Whatley is taking over as president of Simutronics Games.
HeroEngine is used by a wide range of customers, including large and small studios that make anything from games to government applications, Simutronics said in a statement. Aside from BioWare's highly-anticipated MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, HeroEngine is also licensed by Zenimax Online Studios, the sibling studio to Oblivion developer Bethesda Softworks that's working on an unannounced online game.
Marselas said the company is currently hiring. A statement said that due to new licensees, Simutronics will be expanding its development teams near Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, MO.
HeroEngine's website said the engine features live collaborative development via online, real-time game creation that offers instant feedback, and middleware that includes SpeedTree, FaceGen, Scaleform GFx and others.
The HeroEngine was originally developed by Simutronics for the MMORPG Hero's Journey, which has been in development for several years and has yet to receive a firm release date. Simutronics is also the developer of games including GemStone IV, DragonRealms, Modus Operandi, Alliance of Heroes, and CyberStrike 2.
The Simutronics Games division will focus on social networks and iPhone game development, the company said. "I've always had a passion for creating games, and our new corporate structure lets us take what we've learned over the past two decades and focus exclusively on applying it to new gaming platforms," said Simutronics Games president Whatley.
That unannounced MMO that Zenimax Online Studios is working on is rumored to be Elder Scrolls Online.
Whether this reorganization will have any effect on SWTOR is the question. Possibly the reorganization will allow Simutronics to give BioWare more support with the engine if they need it. But it's nice to hear that the engine is doing well enough to warrant the reorganization. And perhaps Simutronics will finally manage to finish Hero's Journey; I think it's been in development for over ten years now.
[link] to news report at Gamasutra.
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