Amazon continues its foray into markets beyond online distribution with the release of Lumberyard, a free to use game engine that some analysts speculate will help small studios compete with larger publishers, such as Sony, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.
Lumberyard, which is based off the powerful CryEngine, was developed as a part of Amazon’s larger Amazon Web Services platform and is capable of creating sophisticated game worlds that can be quickly connected to cloud databases. Lumberyard is capable of producing games that can rival triple-A titles and can be used to develop games for all current platforms, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Lumberyard can even be used to program titles for a variety of emerging VR systems.
While Lumberyard most likely will not immediately change the landscape of video game development, the fact that it is being made available at absolutely no charge to developers makes it an attractive alternative to development platform standards such as Unity and the Unreal Engine. In an era where development cost continue to balloon, receiving a fully capable development platform could prove an important advantage to smaller studios looking to manage their budget.
That’s not the only surprise Amazon had for the video game world with their Lumberyard announcement. Also revealed was the news that Amazon has already had put in place plans to develop their own titles that were intended to compete with some of the biggest games on the market. In fact, Amazon has already posted over 70 jobs listings looking for programmers to help develop their upcoming games.