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Amazon launches free AAA game engine

Royalty-free "Lumberyard" engine is based on the CryEngine, calibrated for multiplayer and streaming

Amazon is taking its involvement in the games business to a new level with the release of a free 3D game engine.

Lumberyard is intended to be used for AAA development on PC and the current generation of consoles, with all the necessary deals signed to support both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The engine is based on Crytek's CryEngine, which Amazon was rumoured to have licensed in April last year. Support for mobile and VR will arrive in due course, the company said.

The beta of Amazon Lumberyard is now available, and its integration with Twitch and Amazon Web Services is at the forefront of the company's pitch. Lumberyard is entirely free, with no subscription fees or royalties of any kind.

Amazon is monetising the idea is through backend services. While Lumberyard developers are free to use first-party servers for their games, Amazon Web Services is the mandatory third-party choice. It is also launching GameLift, a paid service for, "deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games." According to information acquired by Gamasutra, GameLift will cost $1.50 per 1,000 users.

In concert with the deep integration of Twitch, Lumberyard is aimed at developers, in the words of Mike Frazzini, VP of Amazon Games, "creating experiences that embrace the notion of a player, broadcaster, and viewer all joining together.

"That's what we tried to do: a free [AAA] game engine that's deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch, and offers full source."

To download Lumberyard, follow the link.

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Latest comments (8)

Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, AntictoA year ago
While Lumberyard developers are free to use first-party servers for their games, Amazon Web Services is the mandatory third-party choice.
So how does this affect a game to be distributed in Steam and using its friends system, leaderborads, and others?
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Oscar Escamilla Perez Game Designer A year ago
Hey, Jordi. From what I've read in the FAQ section, Amazon web services are only mandatory for web services, so you can't use equivalent services (cloud and the like) form other providers. That is, unless you set up your own servers on your own hardware

For services like leaderboards, steamcloud, gamecenter, etc, you can use each platform services freely. Also if you do a single player game you may not need AWS at all, so it is efectively a free SDK.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Oscar Escamilla Perez on 9th February 2016 11:26am

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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer A year ago
For example, you could build a game where spectators can vote on game outcomes, gift power-ups to their favorite players, or change the level based on the number of viewers watching the broadcaster. Using Lumberyard’s Flow Graph visual scripting tool, non-technical game designers can easily create chat channel commands for your game. For example, you could build a multiplayer game where viewers can vote to drop grenades to the broadcaster by typing #boom in the Twitch chat channel.
I can't wait for twitch chats to be spammed with even more garbage!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Watson on 9th February 2016 11:31am

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Show all comments (8)
Ben Gonshaw Game Design Consultant, AKQAA year ago
Great deal for Amazon, hammer blow for the struggling Crytek, who now disappear from the map as an engine provider.
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Adam Campbell Producer, HopsterA year ago
I knew there was a reason Amazon paid Crytek a fortune. Though, surely, they knew it would potentially devalue their own licensing business, which didn't gain as much traction as some would have expected.
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Great deal for Amazon, hammer blow for the struggling Crytek, who now disappear from the map as an engine provider.
You have to be on the map to disappear from it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jon Kimmich on 9th February 2016 6:20pm

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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me UpA year ago
No stopping amazon these days. I find myself using their services more and more. Will have to check it out
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Shane Sweeney Academic A year ago
Crytek would of gone under if Amazon hadn't paid them $70 million dollars. That's so much money.
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