A New Challenger!
Quick summary: Amazon has announced that they are throwing their hat into the ring for the growing competition between third-party game engine developers. They have not only announced, but also provided access to, a new game engine that they are calling "Lumberyard." This engine is based on licensed tech that they acquired from Crytek, so much of the back-end rendering will be very similar to the CryEngine. The engine is free-to-use for anyone, and even provides access to the engine's C++ source code. The only cost comes when you want to take advantage of Amazon web-service integration, which is extensively tied into the engine's on-line feature and multiplayer support.
This could be an attractive engine alternative for smaller developers, especially those working on single-player experiences. Any standard single-player game will be able to use the engine for a commercial project completely free of charge. The source-code access will be a very attractive feature for tech-focused developers looking to customize things to their own liking. And the graphical capabilities of the engine will make it a decent alternative to Unreal Engine 4. (currently the go-to engine for high-end visuals)
Amazon has their work cut out for them, the middleware market is flush with capable competitors. And it is fairly clear that they intend this engine to be a gateway for luring developers into utilizing Amazon web-services. All the same, I can't fault the approach they are taking with it. They are being clever about it, and the overall package seems fairly appealing. I'll be sticking to Unity for the time being, but I will also be watching to see how Lumberyard progresses.
- Indominabledollar likes this