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CryEngine adopts subscription model

By Brendan Sinclair

CryEngine adopts subscription model

Thu 20 Mar 2014 12:06am GMT / 8:06pm EDT / 5:06pm PDT
Developer ToolsTechnologyDevelopment

Crytek counters Unreal Engine announcement with royalty-free "engine-as-a-service" available for under $10 a month

Subscription services may be the business model of the future for developers. This morning, Epic rolled out a monthly subscription program for the Unreal Engine, which Crytek has responded to by confirming its own "Engine-as-a-Service" program for the CryEngine.

Both programs are targeting small developers, but Crytek is making cost-effectiveness a main part of its pitch. The CryEngine program will cost developers $9.90 a month (or €9.90 in Europe), with no royalties due to Crytek. On the other hand, Epic Games' program costs $19 a month, with developers having to pay the company 5 percent of gross revenues from all projects that use any part of the Unreal Engine code.

Crytek's program also supports "all of today's leading platforms," while the Unreal Engine subscription currently does not extend to consoles. Because part of that program involves giving developers access to the full C++ source code, Epic said that various non-disclosure agreements are keeping it from adding the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Unreal Engine 4 to the program (for the moment, at least).

Developers currently using the CryEngine free SDK will be able to continue using it under the pre-existing terms, but those looking to use new features of the engine will need to sign up for the subscription program. Crytek has said the program will give users access to the same toolset that was used to create the Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome.

From Recommendations by Taboola


Renaud Charpentier Game Director, The Creative Assembly

91 232 2.5
9$ a month and no royalties, great, but how do they make the money they need to make?
What is the catch? Technical support costs? Publishing fees for platforms other than PC?

Posted:2 years ago


Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster

1,472 1,576 1.1
Even better price, better terms and extends to consoles. This one still lacks mobile publishing though and I've been eagerly awaiting to hear what Crytek may offer in this area for 3rd parties.

Posted:2 years ago


Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

278 789 2.8
The CryEngine program will cost developers $9.90 a month (or 9.90 in Europe), with no royalties due to Crytek
Ouch, can you feel the sting? Your move, Epic!

Posted:2 years ago


Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

371 354 1.0
Really didn't expect to see anything like this. Almost overnight two of the most famous and powerful game development engines have gone from being only available to a small section of AAA developers to being affordable for everyone and their dog.

This can only mean good things for gamers and developers. I'm quite excited to see what will come of it. I do also wonder where Crytek will get their money from though, maybe this will be subscription per seat, and/or perhaps they're just hoping to reach such a huge set of developers that their profits will exceed the way they operated previously. They've certainly got the price point right to do that now.

Posted:2 years ago


Renaud Charpentier Game Director, The Creative Assembly

91 232 2.5
It's kind of a normal evolution of our industry: if you start making a movie today you don't worry about which camera you are going to use, even a 500 DV can do the trick. Montage and post prod you can do on your laptop. You problem will be the script, the actors, the sets, the effects, the score... the contend. We are moving fast in this direction and it's great (for creators) because it is becoming more and more a creative challenge instead of a technical one.

Posted:2 years ago


Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania

39 48 1.2
Interesting move but ultimately, it sounds like they will only be providing the "updated" SDK. From my point of view, access to the entire U4 source-code is well worth both the monthly fee and the 5% on top.

Posted:2 years ago


Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,201 2,054 1.7
I have a feeling this will inevitably lead EA to license out their Frostbite engine for their own subscription fee.

Posted:2 years ago


Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

98 84 0.9
Every company that has an in-house engine that could be used by 3rd parties will just follow suit in due course.
Just like we have different cameras now for photography and many of them professional grade at consumer pricing we'll have the same for engines.
As a middleware provider I'd rather have 100 000 or more subscribers of wannabe game or tool developers paying me $10 a month, than 100 licensees paying me a lot more once in a while... subscription is about quantity over quality, but even better if quality comes as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Istvan Fabian on 21st March 2014 5:41pm

Posted:2 years ago


Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster

1,472 1,576 1.1
Every company that has an in-house engine that could be used by 3rd parties will just follow suit in due course.
Depends on factors such as providing a good support network and being able to cope with scale and external demands. iD always had impressive tech but seemed to struggle when it came to scale or providing the best tools and support, something they always admitted.

I think many internal middlewares could be used by third parties too. I'm sure there are plenty of cool things in Square Enix Luminous Studio Engine or Konami Fox Engine for example, but would they be willing to provide comprehensive international support, updates and so on to meet demands? Maybe but maybe not.

Personally, I'm not expecting everyone with an engine to start licensing it. We should remember Crytek like Epic have been building great tools for external companies to use for years.

Posted:2 years ago


Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

490 302 0.6
Has CryEngine also adopted a university degree in how to use the damned thing without a full AAA team! Looking at it and how hard it is for a single Indie dev to get even basic stuff up. I have to say that even $9 starts to sound steep.

Posted:2 years ago


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