Amazon giving away new Lumberyard game engine for free

9 Feb 2016

Amazon hopes to increase its reach in the major gaming industry with the decision to give away its triple-A standard gaming engine, Lumberyard, for free to developers.

The Lumberyard game engine was developed by Amazon with the major gaming titles (referred to in the business as triple-A titles) in mind and clearly has aims of taking on some of the other major game engines out there on the market, such as CryEngine, Frostbite and Unreal.

Now, according to The Verge, the engine will become freeware for developers to use, but Amazon plans to use it as a selling point with developers to get them buying into its other products, like Amazon Web Services.

It’s also expected that whatever games are developed from Lumberyard will be integrated with the Twitch streaming service, following Amazon snatching it from beneath YouTube’s nose for just under $1bn.

Targeting future VR games

In terms of what platforms the game engine can run on, Amazon seems to have covered all the major bases on initial launch, with development capability on Windows, Xbox One and PS4 games, with expected future support for mobile platforms like iOS and Android, and even virtual reality (VR).

Lumberyard wouldn’t be the first game engine developer to follow a similar action in releasing its gaming engine for free or a rock-bottom price.

Back in 2014, Epic Games released its Unreal Engine 4 for a low fee to smaller developers, with the benefit to Epic Games being that any game developer would have to give 5pc of its gross sales to the company.

Stacks of wood in a lumberyard image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic