Unity acquires revolutionary digital character creation company Ziva Dynamics

"We want to make content creators superheroes"

Unity has announced the acquisition of revolutionary digital character creation company Ziva Dynamics.

Ziva’s technology allows users to create people, animals, or similar items like cloth, and have them deform in realistic ways. Ziva’s software has been featured in games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. They’ve also contributed to Game of Thrones and Godzilla vs. Kong.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Unity plans to “democratise” Ziva’s tools, to make them easier to use for developers of all skill levels.

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The acquisition was announced by Ziva’s wholly digital person, Emma, whose facial expressions were created using the ZRT Trainer.

“At Unity, we are laser-focused on democratising tools for creators, so that the industry’s most brilliant gems are available to all, not just a select few. And we are continuously focused on helping artists make their dreams a reality,” reads Unity’s blog on the news.

“What we see in the extraordinary talent and tools behind our recent acquisitions like Weta Digital, SpeedTree, SyncSketch, Pixyz, and RestAR, is the core technology to make it easier, faster, and cheaper to have artists and all creators realise their visions. We want to make content creators superheroes and we intend to deliver the tools and services that make that happen,” Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Unity, continued.

James Jacobs, Ziva’s CEO, told GamesBeat, “When Ziva was founded, we had this vision of making realistic character creation available to all creators. We think it’s going to be an important part of the future. When the opportunity presented itself to join forces with Unity, it was like a dream come true. They shared our values and our view of the world and the future.”

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Earlier this week, recently uncovered documents revealed that the US Air Force approached Unity to develop a dogfight simulation for the “kill chain” branch, a military term for sourcing data, acquiring targets, and using weapons against those targets, before performing a strike.

Unity was specifically chosen by the US Air Force so that the system would require fewer operators and provide “better immersion and simulation quality than existing systems.” The software is used by the US Air Force’s Kill Chain Integration Branch. However, Unity stressed its simulation was for training purposes only.

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