Amazon Launches Free Triple-A Game Engine

LUMBERYARDAmazon has swiftly entered the game engine market by simultaneously announcing and releasing a beta of their new game engine, Lumberyard.

Lumberyard is a 3D engine intended to be used for triple-A game development for PC and the current generation of consoles, with support for the Xbox One and PS4. The company is assuring users that support for Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and the Oculus Rift are all “coming soon.”

Lumberyard is based on Crytek’s ‘CryEngine’, which Amazon was rumoured to have licensed last April for a reported $50 – $70 million, saving Crytek from dire financial uncertainty.

The engine includes a “full-featured editor” and “hundreds” of other elements including cloth physics, character and animation editors, audio tools, weather effects, and vehicle systems.

A statement on Lumberyard’s official website says the following:

“Amazon Lumberyard is free, including full source code. You can deeply customize Lumberyard for your team, vision, and project today, and for future projects in years to come. There are no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue. You only pay for the AWS services you choose to use.”

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is only required for the development of online games.


Above: a screenshot from Alien Abode, created with Amazon Lumberyard

At the forefront of Lumberyard’s pitch is it’s unique integration with Twitch, which comes as no surprise after Amazon buying Twitch for $1 Billion in 2014.

A feature in Lumberyard, called ChatPlay, enables Twitch viewers to “directly impact the game they are watching.” For instance, developers will have the opportunity to implement real-time polls, allowing viewers to vote on an in-game end result. Additionally, a developer could permit users to test the game live.

Amazon has been getting all their ducks in a row over the last number of years, and Lumberyard could prove to be their big, meaningful foray into the world of game development.

If you would like to try Lumberyard, you can download it at the following link.

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