signed a deal with Scaleform to utilize its GFx user interface middleware across all Microsoft Game Studios titles, officially beginning with Ruffian's upcoming Crackdown 2. Scaleform's GFx is a vector graphics rendering engine that allows artists to design user interfaces -- such as menus and in-game heads-up displays (HUDs) -- and animated textures using Adobe Flash. Scaleform's middleware has already been used in an assortment of games, including The Conduit, Resistance 2 and Crysis.
According to Scaleform's site, using its middleware will allow game developers to focus on building gameplay, "rather than coding interface elements or developing custom tools." We hope that means Crackdown 2's menus won't run abnormally slow, like the original game in the series.
Brendan Iribe, president and CEO of Scaleform, was elated at the news (and probably holding a giant novelty check), claiming Microsoft's new "master agreement" for use of the Scaleform GFx middleware will streamline the process for all future MGS development teams.