Going forward, GameMaker Studio will be available for free without a time limit to developers wishing to learn how to use it.
YoYo Games' engine previously had a 'free to learn' version, which was limited to a month of use. From today, developers can have unlimited free access to GameMaker, and will only need to pay for a license if they wish to export and publish their game.
YoYo Games also announced the simplification of its licenses. Instead of its current Creator, Developer, Console, and Ultimate licenses, the engine will offer two new options.
The Indie license, at $9.99 monthly (or $99.99 yearly), will give access to all non-console platforms in one package. It replaces the engine's Developer license, which was divided by platform (desktop, mobile, web, UWP). Each were permanent licenses and priced individually from $99 to $199.
The second option will be the Enterprise license, priced at $79.99 monthly, or $799.99 yearly. It will give access to all platforms. GameMaker previously had a console-only license for that same price, as well as an Ultimate license with all platforms included for $1,500/year. Both will be retired.
Russell Kay, CTO at YoYo Games, commented: "Our vision has always been to make it as easy as possible for anyone to start making awesome games. Today's announcement represents a huge step forward in making GameMaker more accessible to game creators of all levels. We are also committed to fostering creativity within our community and will be introducing exciting new initiatives in this area later this year."
Krystian Kolondra, EVP for PC and gaming at parent company Opera, added: "The gradual lowering of technical hurdles has already enabled the democratization of content publishing, through platforms like WordPress, and video creation through YouTube. Making games is the next big step in the creator economy. By making GameMaker free for new game creators and more flexible for indies and studios, developing skills and creating great games has never been easier."
Earlier this year, YoYo Games was acquired by Opera for $10 million.