Unity Technologies have just announced the aquisition of software maker Interactive Data Visualization (IDV), best known for their game middleware Speedtree. Speedtree is a AAA tested package of tools and SDKs for creating realistic and scalable trees, foliage and vegetation and is used by such companies as Epic Games, CD Projeck RED and Bungie. There are Speedtree integrations for the Unreal, Unity and Lumberyard game engines.
Details of the acquisition from the Unity blog:
Current SpeedTree customers can expect the same level of quality and support that they currently enjoy. Like many Unity products, including Vivox and Multiplay, SpeedTree’s tools and expansive library of ready-to-use content is engine-agnostic to ensure that they continue to reach creators in any development environment.
For now, nothing will change for SpeedTree or Unity customers. Long-term benefits will include deeper integration into the Unity ecosystem and better workflows between products.
We’ve already started this process with our upcoming 2021.2 release, where SpeedTree-generated assets work seamlessly with our Scriptable Render Pipelines and Terrain system. This acquisition bolsters Unity’s artist authoring workflow and environment-creation capabilities for Unity creators across verticals.
So other than IDV/Speedtree having Unity as an owner, nothing else is changing immediately. In the future Speedtree will have better integration with Unity engine, but Speedtree will continue to be game engine agnostic. You can learn more about the acquisition in the video below. There is a Speedtree Discord server available here if you wish to discuss the acquisition or have general questions.