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Oculus VR acquires RakNet, then open-sources game networking engine

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2014

Oculus used RakNet internally, decided to open source under modified BSD license

Oculus VR announced another acquisition today, this time picking up RakNet for its multiplayer middleware. RakNet is featured in a number of games across multiple platforms due to its comprehensive engine. In the same announcement, Oculus stated that it is open-sourcing the technology.

RakNet is a game networking engine, coded in C++, created for cross-platform use -- supporting PC, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Recently, it expanded into native Google clients, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and Windows Phone 8. The company holds integration agreements with third-party systems including Gamebryo, Havok, Unity and Terminal Reality. The software has been licensed by a number of developers including Mojang, Sony Online Entertainment and Maxis.

RakNet's software offers a middleware solution that handles a number of different functions. It allows for a lobby system, voice communication and auto updates. The company says that the software offers object replication, secure connections, a robust communication layer, NAT punchthrough and remote procedure calls as well.

Terms of the deal weren't outlined in the post announcing the acquisition. Lead Engineer of RakNet and Jenkins Software Founder Kevin Jenkins was said to have lead the acquisition efforts. Oculus also said that it has been using RakNet within the company for a number of networked systems and tools. The post states that James has worked with Oculus for a few months.

The reason for the decision to open-source the software wasn't made clear other than the team being "excited by the idea." RakNet is being offered on the Oculus GitHub repo, utilizing the same modified BSD license that Facebook uses for open-source projects. The virtual reality company suggests that those interested in the project head over to the GitHub page. Oculus says it is "looking forward to seeing where the community takes the project next."

by MacNN Staff



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