The online retail giant Amazon has made the surprising announcement that it is to release a free console and PC development tool.
Named Lumberyard, the game engine is said to be based on the underlying architecture of the famous CryEngine from Crytek. The engine includes capabilities to support Twitch streaming, and will also be patched to include Oculus compatibility in the future.
Amazon’s first outing into game development technology will be capable of creating triple-A games on all major current-generation platforms. Develop Online reported that Sony and Microsoft have supplied Amazon with licenses for official Playstation 4 and Xbox One development tools.
A totally free engine with no subscription price, Amazon’s Lumberyard will earn revenue by way of inbuilt Amazon Web Services functionality. This network and cloud computing service will be included in Lumberyard.
Twitch, likewise owned by Amazon, will also be natively attuned to the Lumberyard engine. Livestreaming abilities will be fully functional in Lumberyard, as will ChatPlay, which enables stream audiences to control a game together. Amazon first announced the acquisition of Twitch Interactive in 2014, for a price of just short of $1 billion. They reportedly beat Google to the purchase of the streaming service.
In addition to Twitch and Amazon Web Services, Lumberyard will include the Amazon GameLift service, which will aid developers with operating multiplayer sessions. This optional aspect of the engine will cost $1.50 per daily 1000 users.
With Lumberyard, Amazon aims to provide a “world-class” development tool. Lumberyard promises beautiful worlds, realistic characters and quality real time effects. It aims to help developers by mitigating the “heavy lifting” of building an engine and managing servers.
The beta of Amazon Lumberyard is available for free download now. Lumberyard can currently develop games for PC and console, with mobile and VR platform capacities coming soon.