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Monolith's Jason Hall On LithTech
and Engine Licensing

 


 

GameDaily: How was Monolith involved with outside titles like Odium, Rage of Mages and Septerra Core? Is Monolith planning similar ventures in the future?

Jason Hall: We were involved mostly from a product management standpoint. We had a fairly standard publisher/developer relationship with the developers of these titles. It was an excellent learning experience. We are not currently planning similar ventures in the near future.

 

GD: Was LithTech—featured in Blood 2: The Chosen and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division—developed by Monolith from the ground up? What were Monolith’s goals with LithTech 1.0, and what are Monolith’s plans for LithTech 2.0?

JH: LithTech was indeed built from the ground up. Monolith’s goals for the technology started off as fairly simple—to make an engine for the game we were working on—but they quickly changed and were reprioritized in the early stages of development. This was partially due to Microsoft’s involvement and our collective decision to build an engine that was designed from the outset to handle multiple game genres and be completely modular and licensable.
     Our plans for LithTech 2.0 and beyond always remain the same. We intend to grow the technology, advance our tools and expand the overall development reach that a developer has when they have competency in our system. This ranges from being able to author to multiple platforms to being able to create massively multiplayer systems. We are focused on making our technology as comprehensive and as flexible as possible. When a developer licenses our technology we want them to feel comfortable that we are standing with them, giving them strong support and working our tails off making sure that the money that they are spending building a general competency in LithTech is not spent in vain. A developer can be assured that their new knowledge is going to be useful well into the future because LithTech Inc. is specifically focused on growing and expanding LithTech every day. Why would anyone want to spend money learning a technology that has no real growth plan or overall strategy? You have to re-invent the wheel every time in that case! 

LithTech 2.0 In Action


GD: Much like id software and Epic Games, Monolith licenses engine technology to outside game developers. From a management perspective, why is engine licensing desirable? Do you see continued growth in engine licensing?

JH: I certainly see continued growth in engine licensing, on all notable platforms. Explaining why Monolith (LithTech Inc.) finds engine licensing to be desirable would require me to send you a copy of our business plan. The bottom line is that licensing can generate a tremendous amount of value, and can also be a stabilizing factor for outside developers in this tumultuous industry. LithTech will mitigate a developer’s technology risk and help control development times/costs. That’s a pretty big deal considering that the average cost of game production is always going up, and the average cost of retail software is always going down.

 

 

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