Havok sets sights on China's games market
Intel-owned Havok is aiming at the Chinese games market for growth, targeting indigenous developers in the region.
The company, which began as a spinout from Trinity College Dublin in 1998, opened an office in Beijing four months ago, mainly to support its work with the localised operations of western studios.
Now the company is seeking to introduce its technology to some of the large indigenous companies in China.
Managing director David Coughlan said the company felt China could prove an important market for the firm, with about 60 per cent of the games played in China made by indigenous Chinese developers rather than imported brands and titles.
“We feel there’s a big untapped market there where these developers can benefit from the type of technology that Havok has really made a standard in some of the other markets,” Mr Coughlan said.
“We have been doing business in China for a number of years, initially with studios that would be part of western publishers like 2K, Ubisoft and THQ. But increasingly we had started doing business with some indigenous Chinese companies in China too.
“To date, we have been servicing those teams with support from other offices in Asia, San Francisco and Dublin. We had got to a point where the momentum was such that it made sense to have a team on the ground there.”
Mr Coughlan said opening the office had been relatively smooth so far, and the market was similar to others in which it had already operated. More than a third of Havok’s sales on a quarterly basis come from Asia, and China is expected to be a driver of that in the coming years.
Havok has already established offices in Japan and South Korea, which covers the three main territories in Asia that Havok feels will play an important role in its business.
Having experience of opening Asia offices also helped to smooth the way when the company took the plunge in China.
“Until you have a local presence, with Chinese-speaking engineers who can travel on site as needed to work with the customers, I think it takes a braver developer to jump on that until you have an on the ground presence,” Mr Coughlan added.
“We expect it will lead to more adoption of the technology.”
Havok technology is used in many of the major video games on the market, including Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Assassin’s Creed III. It is used on all the major platforms, including Xbox 360, PlayStation, Wii and PC, and the iOS and Android mobile platforms.
The company has also been involved in a number of film projects, with its technology used in The Matrix, Harry Potter and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.