Factor 5 Selects xaitment for AI

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Game developer Factor 5 turns to xaitment for artificial intelligence middleware.

Star Wars® Rogue Squadron®

xaitment GmbH, one of the leading developers and service providers of artificial intelligence for the games and simulation industries, announced today that they will begin work with Factor 5 for the implementation of xaitment's AI system in the developer's yet-to-be-announced multi-platform title.

Factor 5 was founded over 20 years ago in Cologne, Germany. Now with their head office in San Rafael, California, Factor 5 is recognized as one of the most important independent and privately-owned, multi-platform development studios worldwide. The company is responsible for creating many highly-successful games, including the "Star Wars® Rogue Squadron®" series, "Indiana Jones®", the classic "Turrican®" and the PlayStation®3-exclusive "LAIR".

After searching the market for the right solution, President Julian Eggebrecht turned to xaitment:

"Interactivity is at the heart of games and distinguishes them from film. But the ability to simulate thousands of characters both graphically and with accurate physics is meaningless if their behavior is unconvincing," said Julian Eggebrecht, President of Factor 5. "The step up from mindless zombie to a clever human or alien adversary is the challenge for games of the future. To address this aspect of game design one of our main efforts is the development of a cutting-edge AI system.

"To realize our ambitions we looked at the AI research field and found in xaitment an extremely promising partner with future-proof technology. Their engine combines the latest solutions and techniques in the field with a modular approach and can be used as a stand-alone product or in conjunction with existing technology. Key elements for us were not only the large set of features beyond traditional pathfinding -- true AI has to include decision making tools, machine learning and team behavior -- but also the inclusion of tools to facilitate editing and solve data issues. These tools speed up development and mitigate risk before and during production. We are looking forward to collaborating with xaitment on console technology to bring a truly multi-platform AI system to the market."

xaitment tailored their modular AI system -- the xait-Engine -- in the early stages of development towards the needs of its customers. In addition to elementary features like pathfinding, the company has focused their development efforts on high-level AI solutions, such as the realistic interaction of non-player characters (NPC's) within their environment, complex team behavior, and emotional intelligence. The relationship with Factor 5 will not only be a nice proving ground for xaitment's system; it also validates the efforts of Dr. Andreas Gerber, Group CEO of xaitment, and his team.

"We're excited to be working with Factor 5. Our goal has always been to develop an AI system that could negate the differences between human behaviors and game character behaviors. We're certain that the project which is currently in development by Factor 5 will prove our system capable of achieving that goal.

"The trust they have placed in us and our modular technology validates our efforts to develop a truly high-level AI system. We're confident that the xait-Engine will meet Factor 5's challenges and help them achieve a new level in game intelligence."

The joint effort with Factor 5 marks xaitment's successful start in 2008. More discussions with other companies in the games space, as well as others markets, are currently in the works. More new licensees are expected shortly.

For more information about xaitment and the xait-Engine, please visit http://www.xaitment.com. To see the xait-Engine in action, visit xaitment at the Game Developer's Conference 2008 (Booth 6105/5).

About Factor 5
Factor 5 Inc. is an independent and privately-owned game development studio located in San Rafael, CA. Founded in 1987, Factor 5 has been has been a technology partner of Nintendo, Sony, Dolby and THX. Best known for the multi-million-selling Star Wars® Rogue Squadron® series, Factor 5 is now developing multiple titles and technology for all major platforms. For more information about Factor 5, visit http://www.factor5.com.

About xaitment GmbH
A spin-off of the world renowned German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), xaitment was founded in 2004 with the mission to create lifelike AI for games and simulations. Their mission led to the development of the xait-Engine, a highly customizable and highly modular multi-agent system that enables bots to learn from their mistakes, coordinate activities, compete with each other and achieve their goals with uncanny realism. For more information about xaitment and the xait-Engine, visit http://www.xaitment.com.

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