Mantle is getting more popular. AMD has announced that three more developers have pledged to support the close-to-the-metal Radeon API. The most notable of the bunch is Cloud Imperium Games, which is responsible for space sim Star Citizen. Eidos Montreal is the other big name; it's working on the upcoming Thief game. Then there's Oxide games, a new studio made up Firaxis and Microsoft veterans. Oxide recently revealed its Nitrous engine, which is optimized for multi-core and 64-bit processors.
Those three developers join EA DICE, whose Frostbite engine will be the first to support Mantle. A version of Battlefield 4 tuned for the new API is scheduled for release in December. After that, the plan is to roll Mantle into the rest of the "15+ games" slated to use the Frostbite engine. There's no word on when other Frostbite titles will actually get Mantle support, though. The AMD press release doesn't say when we could see the other Mantle-optimized games in development, either.
In fact, the press release doesn't actually confirm that Thief will use the Radeon API—just that the studio behind the game is part of a "developer partnership for Mantle." The accompanying statement from Eidos Montreal head David Anfossi is rather vague: "Mantle lets you use AMD Radeon GPUs the way they are meant to be used, unlocking many new opportunities and increased CPU and GPU performance. Because of this, Mantle is one of the most important changes to PC graphics in many years."
Interesting choice of words, Mr. Anfossi. "The way they are meant to be used," sounds like a thinly veiled reference to Nvidia's The Way It's Meant to be Played program. Touché.
Update: AMD has confirmed that the new Thief game will support Mantle.