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Epic Games announces its acquisition of Rad Game Tools, gaming’s widely used data compression technology

Epic Games has just made an important acquisition in its history by buying RAD Game Tools. The maker of game development tools was acquired recently by EPIC games.

In case you didn’t know, RAD Game Tools is a video game software development company whose products and technology are used in almost 20,000+ games and are leveraged by the world’s leading gaming companies, including Epic. You might have noticed the Bink “Video logo” at the opening screen of some of the PC titles once the game has been launched.

These game environment tools have been used in the gaming industry for quite some time. RAD will directly integrate its toolset into Unreal Engine, though the tools won’t be exclusive to Unreal Engine projects. Close integration with engines and platforms makes for good standards, and good standards get adopted and embraced by developers in the end.

As graphics in game development and beyond become more photorealistic and powerful, developers need best-in-class compression software that can manage increased data requirements without compromising quality.

According to the report, members of the RAD team will partner closely with Epic’s rendering, animation, insights, and audio teams, integrating key tech and improvements across Unreal Engine and beyond. RAD and Epic combining forces will allow even more developers access to tools that make their games load and download faster, and offer their players a better, higher quality video and gaming experience.

“We know first-hand how impressive RAD’s compression technology is, having used it to improve the load time and quality of our most popular games – including Fortnite. The RAD team includes some of the world’s leading compression, video and game dev tooling experts, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Epic family”. – said Kim Libreri, CTO of Epic Games.

Rad (styled RAD) has been used in games for a long time. BINK is a video codec for games that focuses on high compression and speedy rendering, both important in the gaming environment. Oodle, Telemetry, Granny 3D and Miles Sound System are all development tools as well. Bink is tiny, easy-to-use, self-contained and fast. Bink now also has HDR support, so you can compress and playback high color-depth video in your HDR game.

Bink also has optional GPU decoding for even faster decoding. With GPU-assistance, you can decode 4K video frames in as little 2.3ms on PS4/Xbox One, and 1.4 ms on a PC. Oodle data compression on the other hand gives you the fastest lossless generic data decoding in the world. Load your data faster; pack your data smaller, and it is cross platform and easy to use.

Oodle features the amazing Oodle Kraken, Oodle Leviathan, Oodle Mermaid, and Oodle Selkie – four codecs that decode faster than anything seen before, with a range of compression ratios.

Jeff Roberts, Founder and CEO of RAD Game Tools added:

“Our work with Epic goes back decades, and joining forces is a natural next step given our alignment on products, mission, and culture. We both believe that solid technologies enable developers to build beautiful, performant, and reliable experiences. We’re excited and humbled to join the amazing Epic team”.

Epic said in its announcement that RAD will continue supporting their game industry, film, and television partners, with their sales and business development team maintaining and selling licenses for their products to companies across industries – including those that do not utilize Unreal Engine.

So while Bink and the rest of the tools continue to be available for anyone to use outside of Epic, they will almost certainly be better integrated within the Unreal ecosystem and domain.

Stay tuned for more!