Intel has signed a “perpetual licensing agreement” that will let Microsoft and its teams use Havok physics engine for game development. Among current licensees you’ll find names such as Sony, EA, Ubisoft and Activision, but their deals are not “perpetual” so it is speculated that this move might bring about some kind of exclusivity in the future.
We can’t say that this is likely to happen as licensing Havok to more companies means more dough, but if such a thing occurs, we’ll be seeing Microsoft use the crème of the crop whereas others will have to look for other solutions, and maybe even develop their own proprietary engines.
On the other hand, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Microsoft attempts such a move. Come on, it’s not like they always rely on actual hard work to make their business better.