CryEngine Also Switching to Monthly Subscription Plan

CryEngine Also Switching to Monthly Subscription Plan

Crysis 3 The Lost Island DLC screenshot

Not to be one-upped by Unreal, a CryEngine subscription will only set you back $10 a month.

Earlier, Epic Games made a landmark decision in deciding to make its Unreal 4 engine available to anyone and everyone for the low subscription price of just $19 per month. Crytek, not one to be one-upped by Unreal, has returned fire, announcing that its own CryEngine will also be switching to a subscription model, albeit, for the even lower price of $10 a month. Best of all, for aspiring indie devs, there will be no additional royalties or licensing fees on top of the $10 monthly subscription.

"As a first tier of its new program, Crytek has revealed that from May this year, indie developers will be able to use all of CryEngine's cutting-edge features for a monthly subscription fee of 9.90 USD/EUR per user - royalty free. Those features include the recently announced addition of CryEngine features such as Physically Based Shading, Geometry Cache and Image Based Lighting - an upgrade already shown in action by Crytek at this year's GDC conference in San Francisco."

Carl Jones, Crytek's Director of Business Development, said: "When we announced the new CryEngine this was our first step towards creating an engine as a service. We are happy to announce now that the latest update of CryEngine will soon be available to all developers on a subscription basis. We are really excited to make CryEngine available to hundreds of thousands of developers working with Crytek to make awesome games."

CryEngine is the technology that powers Crytek's own games, such as Crysis and Ryse: Son of Rome, as well as third-party titles such as State of Decay and MechWarrior Online.

This is fantastic news for small developers, who now have an actual choice between the "big three" (Unreal, Unity, Crytek) when choosing which engine they want to use.

Source: Crytek

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Well, that was fast.

Say what you want about Crytek's games, they certainly have a well-oiled machine going over there.

On of those more amusing games of one upping the industry can play.

Well done good sirs, nurture those indies. Maybe they stop pumping out puzzle platformers and other various copies of things that make it big.

I wonder how much of the decision to include subscription models was driven by Unity's push toward indies.

Steven Bogos:

"As a first tier of its new program, Crytek has revealed that from May this year, indie developers will be able to use all of CryEngine's cutting-edge features for a monthly subscription fee of 9.90 USD/EUR per user - royalty free. Those features include the recently announced addition of CryEngine features such as Physically Based Shading, Geometry Cache and Image Based Lighting - an upgrade already shown in action by Crytek at this year's GDC conference in San Francisco."

Speaking as someone who works in the software industry, the precise wording of this is... worrying.

Typically, per-user agreements take the form of "If your product has 1,000,000 end-users, you pay us for each one of those 1,000,000 users". Which means that, to use CryEngine, the more copies of the game you sell, the more you have to pay. The company I work at had a deal like that with Comcast for a long time.

They may well mean "user of the engine kit/tools" (and in fact, they probably do, considering the price is absurdly high for a per-user agreement), in which case my worries are unfounded, but it stuck out to me as a bothersome detail. I could easily see it being a flat per-user rate instead of Epic's percentage rate. There's business advantages and disadvantages for both, and I could see CryTek going that route simply to differentiate themselves more from Epic's model.

Now how the hell does that work? Do they have to keep paying the subscription fee for as long as their game is on the market?

lacktheknack:
Well, that was fast.

Say what you want about Crytek's games, they certainly have a well-oiled machine going over there.

To be fair, Crysis 1 at the very least had absolutely AWESOME gameplay, Crysis 2 was well paced and Crysis 3... was decent I guess on all fronts...

People sling a lot of shit at Crytek, but they are DAMN good developers.

canadamus_prime:
Now how the hell does that work? Do they have to keep paying the subscription fee for as long as their game is on the market?

It should only be a sub while the game is actively being worked on (read: someone is using the tools they provide to development new content/improve old content).

Not sure if that's how it actually works, but that's usually the way things go.

Agayek:

canadamus_prime:
Now how the hell does that work? Do they have to keep paying the subscription fee for as long as their game is on the market?

It should only be a sub while the game is actively being worked on (read: someone is using the tools they provide to development new content/improve old content).

Not sure if that's how it actually works, but that's usually the way things go.

Either way, it still doesn't make much sense to me.

lacktheknack:
Well, that was fast.

Say what you want about Crytek's games, they certainly have a well-oiled machine going over there.

To be fair, Crysis 1 and Warhead were pretty good and Crysis 2 was pretty decent.

OT: Let's hope this helps indie devs to do something cool out of this.

canadamus_prime:
Either way, it still doesn't make much sense to me.

What doesn't make sense about the latter? They charge a development company $X per month while said company is using their software.

Think of it like, say, Netflix. You pay the monthly fee, and you have access to all the video files that you want to watch for that month. Once you stop paying, you can no longer access the videos.

It's the same thing here. You pay CryTek, then you get to use the CryEngine development tools (like modelling software, AI descriptors, etc) for the period you paid them for. You stop paying, then you can no longer use the dev tools.

It's pretty standard subscription software.

The only thing that might be a little wonky with it is the pricing model, and that's just cuz of ambiguous wording.

canadamus_prime:

Agayek:

canadamus_prime:
Now how the hell does that work? Do they have to keep paying the subscription fee for as long as their game is on the market?

It should only be a sub while the game is actively being worked on (read: someone is using the tools they provide to development new content/improve old content).

Not sure if that's how it actually works, but that's usually the way things go.

Either way, it still doesn't make much sense to me.

Suppose you could argue it like this they are leasing you their engine to make a game they let you use it for a per game fee on each game sold later than say the 100s of thousands or millions they would want up front if they sold you the engine.

They i would imagine make way more money that way in general, barring any utter fails that make no money.

Its not wholly unreasonable but the fee involved per game i would think a few dollars in like the 2 or 3 range if we talking millions of games sold. would be more than fair compensation in a lease vs buy situation. but i am no accountant.

Its rather cool smaller devs have roads into working on cryengine outside a few select teams. or that indy game makers in general have way more options in engines and gfx quality. i do hope it fair for all side though.

Agayek:

canadamus_prime:
Either way, it still doesn't make much sense to me.

What doesn't make sense about the latter? They charge a development company $X per month while said company is using their software.

Think of it like, say, Netflix. You pay the monthly fee, and you have access to all the video files that you want to watch for that month. Once you stop paying, you can no longer access the videos.

It's the same thing here. You pay CryTek, then you get to use the CryEngine development tools (like modelling software, AI descriptors, etc) for the period you paid them for. You stop paying, then you can no longer use the dev tools.

It's pretty standard subscription software.

The only thing that might be a little wonky with it is the pricing model, and that's just cuz of ambiguous wording.

Yes, but you're not developing any new products from the content you get off Netflix (or at least you shouldn't be). So I'm rather unclear how that's supposed to work.

Well, with UE4, you're actually getting a lot more with your sub fee plus 5%. Tech support, open access to the engine source, and a bunch of assets and such that can be made use of whichever way you want.

First - Elaborate engine tech demos, erm, i mean games. Now the engine going for cheap. This looks good for CryEngine. I personally love how that engine treats things and would love more games running on it. It also seems to be able to scale extremely well from very low end machines to giving even the 2000 dollar beast setups a workout.

The problem however as i see is a lot of developers claiming its "Hard to work with" which may deter them somewhat.

Arnoxthe1:
Well, with UE4, you're actually getting <...> open access to the engine source.

Do you have a source for this, because the escapist article on that said that your just getting acess to the editor, you know, the kind of thats free for UE3

The UE4 license they published today give full source code access via GitHub

Certainly a better deal to start with, but they don't seem to tell you the full details of this unless you contact them directly. There might be royalty fees later on that they haven't told anyone about yet.

The upside is that for now you can still get the CryEngine SDK for free as it was up until these new subscription shenanigans, anyone interested in using it might want to get a move on.

Strazdas:
First - Elaborate engine tech demos, erm, i mean games. Now the engine going for cheap. This looks good for CryEngine. I personally love how that engine treats things and would love more games running on it. It also seems to be able to scale extremely well from very low end machines to giving even the 2000 dollar beast setups a workout.

The problem however as i see is a lot of developers claiming its "Hard to work with" which may deter them somewhat.

Arnoxthe1:
Well, with UE4, you're actually getting <...> open access to the engine source.

Do you have a source for this, because the escapist article on that said that your just getting acess to the editor, you know, the kind of thats free for UE3

Its in here:
https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/welcome-to-unreal-engine-4

and here:
https://www.unrealengine.com/register

Not bad, I guess it works for both depending on what type of game an indie dev wants to make.

Arnoxthe1:
Well, with UE4, you're actually getting a lot more with your sub fee plus 5%. Tech support, open access to the engine source, and a bunch of assets and such that can be made use of whichever way you want.

Not to mention Epic has years of their engines being used on hundreds of games going for them. Almost no one outside of Crytek has actually licensed the engine for their titles that I know of. That difference in support and tools development experience matters a lot.

Well, Ryse was one of the prettiest demos for an engine I've ever seen, despite Microsoft trying to pretend that it was actually a demo for their shitty hardware. I may need to pick this up just to play around with it a little.

I'm very cautious about that crytek deal.
The unreal engine one is very easy to understand,
the crytek one however, I have a strong feeling I would want a lawyer to explain that contract to me, if I were thinking about licencing it
especially that part about 10$ PER USER, PER MONTH

If that's defined as the end user, then we will see indie games based on the cry engine, will never go below 15$ or so, and generally be more expensive then that.

If it's per programmer, then anything over one guy in his basement, the initial costs will be MUCH higer for licencing the cry engine
as I understand it, the 19$ fee for the unreal engine is "for access" not depending on how many users.
Indie devs with a small budget will prefer this, as they generally have a much easyer time paying royalties AFTER relsease, then to pay higher costs before release, which is a time when many indie devs have funding problems already.

And damnit crytek, 10$ is not the same as 10 euros,
it looks like epic realized this, you look quite greedy in comparison, to me at least
especially when you take into account the "PER USER" bit, where the 40% higher cost for europe will stack up FAST, again, making the unreal engine a better choice for anyone in europe

EDIT: just thought i'd add some math, see, UE4, is 19$ per month, and 5% roylaties later, regardless of company size, cry engine is 10$/eur PER USER
so a company with 100 programmers, in europe, pays:
UE4:19$ per month (and 5% royalties later)
CRY:1400$ per month.

josemlopes:

Its in here:
https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/welcome-to-unreal-engine-4

and here:
https://www.unrealengine.com/register

Not bad, I guess it works for both depending on what type of game an indie dev wants to make.

Thank you. you were correct there and yes in this case i do think Unreal Engine is a really good option here.

Vivi22:

Arnoxthe1:
Well, with UE4, you're actually getting a lot more with your sub fee plus 5%. Tech support, open access to the engine source, and a bunch of assets and such that can be made use of whichever way you want.

Not to mention Epic has years of their engines being used on hundreds of games going for them. Almost no one outside of Crytek has actually licensed the engine for their titles that I know of. That difference in support and tools development experience matters a lot.

Star Citizen is being made in CryEngine 3. Other than that though, I don't really know of many that use it.

OT: This is pretty cool. I may either sub to this or UE4 just so I could dabble in the engine and see what I can create.

Agayek:
They may well mean "user of the engine kit/tools" (and in fact, they probably do, considering the price is absurdly high for a per-user agreement), in which case my worries are unfounded, but it stuck out to me as a bothersome detail. I could easily see it being a flat per-user rate instead of Epic's percentage rate. There's business advantages and disadvantages for both, and I could see CryTek going that route simply to differentiate themselves more from Epic's model.

The article neglected to include the first line of the actual press release where they refer to users of the toolset and giving them tools to develop. Seems pretty clear that they are referring to the developers as the users of the toolset.

CRYENGINE gives users access to the same award-winning toolset that was used to create Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome, and equips them to develop outstanding games across all of today's leading platforms.

Easily the most exciting gaming news in years next to the unreal announcement. Reducing the potential development costs so drastically could mean getting so many great games we never would have gotten. It will also mean getting some really crap games but that's always going to be the case.

Personally i think the Cryengine looks brilliant BUT like some have said it also looks like it might be harder to use as a development tool. The UE4 full source code was a HUGE step for people wanting to run a more modified version of the engine, the collaborative project aspect of it may also lead to Epic themselves potentially getting people to make engine tools for them.

Strazdas:
Do you have a source for this, because the escapist article on that said that your just getting acess to the editor, you know, the kind of thats free for UE3

Yep.

https://www.unrealengine.com/faq

Under this service, you can access Unreal Engine 4 in its entirety: the full suite of integrated tools, the features and the entire C++ source code, which includes code for the Unreal Editor and all the tools. Membership includes official documentation, tutorials and support resources, plus tons of free UE4 content. Download free template games, sample games and content examples from the Marketplace to quickly get on your way to building all sorts of fun things.

And don't forget the updates at regular intervals they're planning to release as well although Crytek might do that too. The cool thing for Epic though here is that, as Scrumpmonkey just said, they may get developers to actually write improvements to their engine for them.

Enizer:
EDIT: just thought i'd add some math, see, UE4, is 19$ per month, and 5% roylaties later, regardless of company size, cry engine is 10$/eur PER USER
so a company with 100 programmers, in europe, pays:
UE4:19$ per month (and 5% royalties later)
CRY:1400$ per month.

While looking at it that way, it seems like the CryEngine is more expensive. But that's only half the story.
What if you sell 300k copies of the game?

How much you pay for Unreal Engine:
12 months development time - 12*19=228
300k copies sold at a profit of $30 per copy - 300000*30*0.05= $450000

Total: $450228

How much you pay for CryEngine:
12 months development time - 12*1400=16800
300k copies sold at a profit of $30 per copy - $0

Total: $16800

While Unreal is cheaper at the start, it's way more expensive in the long run. The more you sell, the more it costs you.
I took $30 for profit because we're talking about a team of 100 programmer, which means it's a rather big team so it's not a $10 indie title.

I do have concerns about CryEngine's flexibility compared to Unreal and Unity.
Can I make a 2D shmup in it just as easily, for instance? Or are we really only doing FPS games?

BiH-Kira:
While looking at it that way, it seems like the CryEngine is more expensive. But that's only half the story.
What if you sell 300k copies of the game?

How much you pay for Unreal Engine:
12 months development time - 12*19=228
300k copies sold at a profit of $30 per copy - 300000*30*0.05= $450000

Total: $450228

How much you pay for CryEngine:
12 months development time - 12*1400=16800
300k copies sold at a profit of $30 per copy - $0

Total: $16800

While Unreal is cheaper at the start, it's way more expensive in the long run. The more you sell, the more it costs you.
I took $30 for profit because we're talking about a team of 100 programmer, which means it's a rather big team so it's not a $10 indie title.

This is kind of nitpicking, but the distinction does matter and the accountant in me won't let it go: Epic takes 5% of gross revenue, not profit. So if you're selling you're game at retail at a price of $60 per copy, you're paying Epic $3 on every copy. Sell 300,000 at that price and you're paying them $900,000. Their cut is based on what the game sells for before accounting for things like Steam/app store's share, or publisher payments. So it's actually more than if you just calculate the 5% on the developers profit, or net revenue from the sale.

That said, I don't think it's necessarily a bad deal. You get an engine with better support history, a more proven tool set, and it costs a pittance up front which is often where indies are most cash strapped. Paying 5% on your gross revenue is pretty small, so if the game takes off, you're still going to make a lot of money. If not, you're still not really losing a whole lot since you're only paying when you get more money from sales.

Even with a relatively small team of a handful of people, some Indie's may not have the cash flow prior to the games release to pay $10 per user. Hell, unless they find a publisher or can manage the near impossible and get a loan, they may be scraping for every penny to get by during development. So these agreements both have their ups and downs, but I think for many indies, it's a bit safer to go with the license that only costs you a whole lot when you've made it.

The unreal engine may be more expensive in the long run, more expensive then I thought, I will admit.

The difference however is that unreal gives the developer a bigger bill, but only once they have started making some money, CryEngine costs much less in total, but that bill comes at the start, before the project has made any money back.

A lot of developers are very starved for cash untill the moment the game is out,
I have heard stories from the developers of a few games I liked, that admitted that in the last months, they did not really have enough money to pay their employees wages.

So it still seems like, for smaller developers(or anyone without a publisher paying for things for them) choosing UE4 will increase the chance of getting the game finished, because it dosnt hurt their budget nearly as much.
For those that can afford the higher initial bill, CryEngine will let them keep more of their profit in the end.

However a bigger question is the quality of the product, the engine itself.
Is the project better suited for one engine or the other?
Which engine is easyer to work with?
Which one has better support from the creator?
Here I must admit I dont have a clue, I don't have experience with either, nor do I know anyone personally that does.

from the unreal engine FAQ (https://www.unrealengine.com/faq):

UE4 is available for $19 per user per month, with a 5% royalty on gross revenue from commercial products.

Developers in Europe pay €19 per user per month, including VAT, and the 5% royalty applies here as well.

Their support is community based support. Also from the FAQ:

we're not promising to answer individual questions on these services.

Crytek are are licensing their engine for to developers for $9.90 per month (or €9.90 per month) with no royalty required. Given that they are talking about licensing their SDK, I think it's clear that the 'user' is the user of the SDK, i.e. the developer.

 

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