Amazon Releases Its Own Game Engine For Free

Amazon Releases Its Own Game Engine For Free

Amazon’s releasing their very own game engine. Lumberyard, as they call it, is based on Crytek’s famous CryEngine, and can be used to develop games for both PC and consoles. It’s also free to download, and comes with “no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue”. Fees come in only, as Lumberyard’s official page notes, if the game takes advantage of the engine’s integration with Amazon Web Services for multiplayer. Besides AWS, the engine has specific features which target Twitch:

With Amazon Lumberyard’s Twitch ChatPlay, you can use a drag-and-drop visual scripting interface to create gameplay features in as little as minutes that let Twitch viewers use chat to directly impact the game they are watching in real-time. And, the Twitch JoinIn feature within Amazon Lumberyard helps you build games that let Twitch broadcasters to instantly invite their live audiences to join them side-by-side in the game, with a single click, while others continue to watch.

While the engine is based on Crytek’s CryEngine, which Amazon licensed last year, Lumberyard will, as general manager Eric Schenk put it (via Gamasutra), “go in [its] own direction.” He added that at launch, the engine already has components that are not based on CryEngine, including low-latency networking code and “an entirely new asset pipeline and processor.”

It’s particularly noteworthy that the engine is completely free. If you look at its competitors, like Unity, Unreal Engine 4 or even CryEngine itself, for example, all of them come with either a licence fee or a royalty fee.

Lumberyard, which is currently in beta, can be downloaded here.


  • Probably should have been mentioned in the article, but the coding language it uses is C++, so be prepared to learn that language if you haven’t already.

    Personally I prefer C#, so Unity is my default choice.

  • Yeeeah, but clause 57.10 of the Service Terms….

    57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

  • It doesnt look as powerful as UE4 and it’s not truly “free” (there will be something amazon will make money from, collecting/selling meta data most likely) but it is an interesting idea and great for people starting out with no budget.

    • Yeah, I haven’t looked into the terms yet but there’s something unsettling about Amazon being the presence behind the engine. I don’t trust it right now.

  • I expect that they will be trying to get this to become mainstream, then they will build Amazon payment processing into it (which will work in great with the Twitch situation).
    So that it makes it very simple for people to add In Game Purchases, or Donations or Whatever… but either way… it all gets process through Amazons Payment system.
    Will allow them to $$block Paypal and Steam by getting in at the development level.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!