Unity Acquires The Developer of SpeedTree

Unity revealed they acquired Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. (IDV), creator of SpeedTree.

SpeedTree is used for vegetation modeling and environment creation products for architecture, games, visual effects, and real-time simulations. Unity noted that their goal is to significantly enhance artists authoring workflows and environment creation capabilities.

"Creating natural, organic-looking environments is currently a costly and labor-intensive process. If you’re pursuing a high level of detail and realism, the process of manually creating one tree - not to mention a forest - can take upwards of four months," said Ralph Hauwert, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Unity. "With IDV’s SpeedTree suite of products part of the Unity product ecosystem, we can now offer creators native authoring workflows for creating real-time, rich, organic environments."

SpeedTree software has been used to create numerous titles including Horizon: Zero Dawn, Call of Duty: War Zone, Witcher 3 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Hitman III, and Ghost of Tsushima.

"We grew SpeedTree into an industry-standard tool by working directly with artists and developers across industries. This allowed SpeedTree to adapt to and anticipate the challenges faced by artists creating larger and higher fidelity worlds in real-time and VFX applications," said Chris King, Co-Founder, Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. "We’re excited to join with Unity as we continue to work directly with creators at every level, expanding our existing solutions and developing new technologies as we move forward into the next phase of real-time interactive content."

The press release states the transaction closed on July 14, 2021. The duo decided not to disclose financial and legal terms of the deal. Unity will retain all ten SpeedTree employees. Deeper integration within the Unity ecosystem and better workflows between the two companies are planned and the first update will be included in Unity’s upcoming 2021.2 release with better integration of SpeedTree-generated assets with Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipelines and Terrain system. 

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