Epic Games, owner of the Unreal Engine used across the games industry, has acquired the company behind the facial animation used in such games as God of War and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Cubic Motion is the creator of facial animation technology that is used in conjunction with facial rigs used for animations to produce subtle facial expressions that can be used to display the smallest of natural expressions.
“Facial animation that conveys the slightest nuance of human expression is essential to crossing the uncanny valley,” Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri said in a recent statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “We believe that holistically combining Epic’s Unreal Engine with 3Lateral’s facial rig creation and Cubic Motion’s solving technology is the only way to answer this challenge, and ultimately, to reach the pinnacle of digital human artistry with Unreal Engine.”
All Cubic Motion employees will retain their jobs in the transition, while Epic Games also promised to continue working with existing partners on their projects. This also suggests that Epic Games won’t make the technology proprietary to Unreal Engine at this time.