Autodesk, Inc. has licensed their HumanIK middleware to Electronic Arts to enable them to create game characters that interact more realistically with digital environments.
HumanIK has been used along with Autodesk's 3D software package Maya and Motionbuilder character animation software in three EA titles: Def Jam Icon, FIFA Soccer 07, and NBA Street Homecourt.
EA's Chief Visual and Technical Officer, Glenn Entis, confided that part of the reason for EA's success and innovation is their reliance on internal and external research and development. Autodesk's R&D team provided customized builds of the HumanIK Soultion to meet ES's needs.
Built from character technology within Maya and Motionbuilder software, HumanIK provides an "on-target intelligent inverse kinematics (IK) animation system". It also provides a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) workflow for ease of use and allows developers to control character animations at run time to create a more realistic product. This process also reduces reliance on integration programmers who typically have to port game data into the game engine.
Acacia Research Group performed a market study that concluded that middleware solutions are key for developers like EA in creating games faster and more cost-effectively. Solutions like HumanIK allow developers to create next-gen realism without costly tweaking and time consuming toggling between development software and game engine.