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Game development just got a little easier and cheaper: earlier today, Amazon released a free game engine called Lumberyard that lets you make games for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
The cross-platform game engine came as a surprise and has set the gaming world abuzz.
Current leaders of the game engine space include Unity and the Unreal Engine made by Epic Games. Amazon seeks to disrupt the free game engines offered by these companies by offering its own royalty-free engine that fully integrates with Amazon services like AWS and Twitch.
Amazon released the full source code for Lumberyard, making the engine highly customizable and easy to modify for all different purposes and game types.
The engine can be used to make both PC and console games. Amazon has signed deals with Microsoft and Sony to let developers immediately start making games for the Xbox One and PS4 with Lumberyard.
Mobile and Oculus SDK Compatibility is on the Horizon
Amazon isn’t stopping with just the PC, Xbox One, and PS4: mobile game development is also reportedly on the horizon, as is Oculus SDK support.
Amazon introduced Lumberyard in the five minute video we see below:
What Does Amazon Get Out of It?
How does Amazon benefit from releasing a game engine for free? The engine has no subscription fees or royalty charges, which is something we don’t usually see among game engines.
Well, one thing that makes Lumberyard a unique game engine is that it’s fully integrated with the Amazon-owned game-streaming service Twitch.tv.
This support comes in the form of two features called ChatPlay and JoinIn.
ChatPlay lets Twitch users stream at the engine level, while JoinIn lets viewers jump into online games being made with the engine.
Another way in which Lumberyard benefits Amazon is that it uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing. In fact, Lumberyard only uses AWS. At the very least, this should get more gamers using AWS in the future.
Download Lumberyard in Beta Form Today
The beta version of Lumberyard is currently available through Amazon.