Not, as you might expect, a load of balls

NaturalMotion's Morpheme middleware (stick with us) just got an upgrade to version 3.0, with full support for PlayStation Move now included, meaning one of the industry's best behaviour engines just got better.

If you've played Grand Theft Auto IV or Star Wars: The Force Unleashed you'll have encountered NaturalMotion's Endorphin, an earlier version of the company's technology that powers how characters react to physical contact. Its latest outing was in BackBreaker, a title that garnered plenty of plaudits for its realistic player animation, and now that power is coming to Move.

Although this doesn't necessarily mean that the above-mentioned games are getting Move upgrades – after all, Morpheme is a middleware tool not a full game engine – it does leave the door open for Move support in similar games in the future. With Grand Theft Auto V widely expected to be announced in 2011, perhaps we could even see the first motion-controlled GTA title.

NaturalMotion Debuts Morpheme 3.0 to Streamline Creation of High Quality Character Animation

Major New Version of Leading Animation Middleware Engine Saves Even More Time and Resources While Creating a New Level of Character Animation Quality for AAA Games; Adds Full Support for Kinect and Move

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 14, 2010 – NaturalMotion, a leading game technology and development company, today announced Morpheme 3.0, a major new version of its industry-leading animation middleware for creating high quality, believable characters that greatly streamlines the process of authoring rich character animations while adding full support for Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Move controller technologies. The new version, which is available now, builds on Morpheme’s strong foundations with further improved performance, memory usage, workflow and debugging facilities.

“Morpheme 3.0 is a great leap making the task of creating rich, natural character animation for AAA games simpler, faster, and easier than ever before,” said Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. “Morpheme 3.0 puts unprecedented control in the hands of both animators and programmers, allowing believable character performances to be quickly created and tested, and then executed in-game with the incredible efficiency.”

Designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control, Morpheme 3.0 saves time and resources with improved real-time, graphical authoring and previewing of in-game animation. Available for PlayStation®3, Xbox 360®, Wii™ and PC, Morpheme is licensed by major developers and publishers in the games industry including Ubisoft, Disney, Codemasters, THQ, CCP, Bioware, Robomodo, and many others.

With Morpheme 3.0, animators and programmers will benefit from new Active State Transitions and Self Transitions, speeding the task of creating responsive characters while making it easier to understand. New enhancements to the preview facility allow for easy prototyping and testing of interaction between multiple characters, while the new asset management system efficiently organizes animation clips and speeds up the building of physical characters.

Programmers can easily customize Morpheme 3.0 with the new Node Wizard while gaining unprecedented insight into runtime execution via all-new deep debugging visualization within Connect. In addition, substantial reductions in runtime memory usage make it easy to work with the large asset libraries of AAA games.

With Morpheme 3.0, users can also optionally add full support for Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move. Specific Kinect nodes filter and retarget data directly onto game character rigs, or simply allow players to control characters indirectly with gestures.

For more information on NaturalMotion and Morpheme 3.0, visit