Amazon lets developers build games for free with Lumberyard

Amazon, never shy to enter a new line of business, has announced a free, cross-platform game engine today called Lumberyard. The online giant also announced GameLift, a managed service backend for multi-player games using Amazon Web Services. GameLift will only be available to games using Lumberyard.

Lumberyard's graphics technology is a fork of Crytek's CryEngine. That engine has powered many triple-A titles to-date, like Crysis 3 and the upcoming Star Citizen.  

Amazon has integrated a number of its own properties into the engine, including its recent acquisition and its ubiquitous Amazon Web Services.  Amazon says Lumberyard's native Twitch integration will allow new interactions between streamer and audience, like allowing a streamer to issue invites for an audience member to join the current game or in-chat voting that impacts gameplay. Lumberyard includes the entire AWS C++ SDK, and comes with visual scripting tools that make connecting to existing AWS services easier.

The Lumberyard source code is free to use and download, and the beta is available now.  Standard AWS fees apply to any of Lumberyard's integrations with that service, and GameLift will cost $1.50 per thousand daily active users in addition to standard AWS fees. For now, developers can use Lumberyard for PC or console game development, but Amazon says support for mobile and virtual reality platforms is coming soon.

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