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Amazon launches free AAA game engine

By Matthew Handrahan

Amazon launches free AAA game engine

Tue 09 Feb 2016 8:55am GMT / 3:55am EST / 12:55am PST
DevelopmentTools

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

Amazon

Amazon.com strives to be Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover virtually...

amazon.com

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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8 Comments

Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, Anticto

36 41 1.1
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?

Posted:6 months ago

#1
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

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Andrew Watson Tools Programmer

192 479 2.5
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

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Ben Gonshaw Game Design Consultant, AKQA

33 47 1.4
Great deal for Amazon, hammer blow for the struggling Crytek, who now disappear from the map as an engine provider.

Posted:6 months ago

#4

Adam Campbell Product Executive, Hopster

1,440 1,501 1.0
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.

Posted:6 months ago

#5
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

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Sandy Lobban , Noise Me Up

380 313 0.8
No stopping amazon these days. I find myself using their services more and more. Will have to check it out

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Shane Sweeney Academic

503 597 1.2
Crytek would of gone under if Amazon hadn't paid them $70 million dollars. That's so much money.

Posted:6 months ago

#8

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