Amazon has released Lumberyard, a "AAA" game engine that developers can download and use completely free of charge.
Amazon wants to be a bigger player in the game industry. It's not hard to understand why, of course. With video games routinely raking in billions, it only makes sense that the company would want a larger slice of that pie. Toward that end, the online retailer has taken several steps over the past few years to claim its place in that market. It sells a variety of digital games in its online marketplace, is hiring developers to create in-house games and even released its own controllers to transform its FireTV boxes into game consoles. Adding to that list, the company has announced today that it's releasing its own game engine.
Amazon's new engine is called Lumberyard and is being described by the company as a "AAA game engine" designed to give developers tools to create "the highest-quality games." Lumberyard is based on CryEngine and can create games for PCs, PS4, Xbox One and mobile platforms. In addition to tech from CryEngine, it also uses code created by Double Helix and has built-in Amazon Web Service and Twitch integration. Alongside Lumberyard, Amazon has also announced GameLift, a new service based on AWS and geared toward helping developers add session-based multiplayer experiences to their gaming projects.
Perhaps the most important detail about Lumberyard however, is that the engine is completely free. While the retailer will charge "standard AWS fees" if developers choose to use them, the engine, along with its source code, can be downloaded and used completely free of charge. If developers want, they can even choose to forego Amazon completely and sell their Lumberyard produced products in other marketplaces.
The download file for Lumberyard requires 10GB of free space. Amazon likewise recommends that developers have "a PC with Windows 7 64-bit, 8+ GB RAM, a 3GHz+ quad-core processor, and a 2+ GB DX11+ compatible video card" or better.