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CryEngine adopts subscription model

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.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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