Amazon Releases Lumberyard Game Engine With VR Support Coming

by Ian Hamilton • February 9th, 2016

Amazon’s new Lumberyard engine can be used in a zombie apocalypse.

Amazon released a free game engine called Lumberyard and support for VR “platforms” is on the way.

Gamasutra reported the engine was licensed from Crytek’s CryEngine. It is being used to promote Amazon’s Web Services and is available for download as a beta for PC and console game developers. According to Amazon:

The Amazon Lumberyard engine is free to use, including source. There are no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue. Standard AWS fees apply should developers choose to use other AWS services.

Amazon GameLift is available at launch in the AWS US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) Regions, with additional Regions coming soon. Amazon GameLift costs $1.50per 1,000 Daily Active Users plus the standard AWS fees for AWS services they consume.

GameLift is a service designed to help developers operate and scale multiplayer games. The engine is also integrated with Twitch, the streaming service for watching games bought by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.

environment-lumberyard

Screenshot from a Lumberyard promotional video showing a game environment.

The two primary game engines for VR development, Unity and Unreal Engine, are building out tools making it possible to create experiences while immersed in virtual reality. The debut from Amazon, though, offers developers another option to consider when creating their game that might make financial sense if they are already planning to use Amazon’s services to help make the game run smoother.

In a humorous bit, buried in the terms of service updated on February 8 and noted by Reddit user SvenNeve, Amazon notes the tools are not to be used for “life-critical” systems such as “in operation of medical equipment”. That is, unless under one very specific condition is met. Section 57.10 reads:

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.Amazon released a free game engine called Lumberyard and support for VR “platforms” is on the way.

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