Autodesk Completes Alias Acquisition

Autodesk Inc. has closed its $197 million cash acquisition of Alias, a competing developer of 3D graphics technology. Among other things, the transaction joins under one roof Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Alias’ Maya, two 3D animation and modeling software applications that have long been competing for dominance in the entertainment field. While Autodesk plans to continue the development and support of Alias products and services, it is not yet known how Max and Maya will be handled as siblings.

Alias’ products, technology and services will be integrated with Autodesk’s

Manufacturing Solutions and Media & Entertainment divisions and Autodesk’s

consulting organization. The combined company boasts more than seven million users, including such major film studios and game developers as Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks SKG, Weta Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts, Midway Games, Nintendo and SEGA. Another key area for Autodesk and Alias products is automotive and design, where customers include BMW, Boeing, General Motors, Mattel, Honda, Renault and Rollerblade.

Alias’ former global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, will remain

a key development center for Autodesk, which welcomes aboard several Alias management team members. Dave Wharry, formerly Alias’ VP of global sales and marketing, is now VP of sales for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division. In addition, Michel Besner, Alias’ VP of business development’emerging markets, is now leading product management for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division 3D product portfolio.

Autodesk COO Carl Bass states that the acquisition of Alias is

about giving design and creative professionals the best software tools for realizing their ideas. ‘Customers are demanding the next generation of 3D photorealistic visualization and animation tools, and we are poised to deliver,’ he comments. ‘In the future, 3D assets will be created once and shared across a range of industries, from automotive and architectural design to films and games. This will be enabled by Autodesk technology.”

More information on Autodesk’s acquisition of Alias can be found at