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Crytek is transforming CryEngine into a subscription service
Crytek is transforming CryEngine into a subscription service
March 19, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




Crytek is looking to turn CryEngine into a subscription service, ostensibly to make it more readily available to independent developers.

The company announced today at GDC 2014 that the next version of CryEngine will herald the launch of its new "Engine-As-A-Service" program.

That means that, starting in May, developers will need to pay a monthly fee of $9.90/€9.90 per user to use the CryEngine game engine. These subscriptions will be royalty-free, and will afford developers access to the latest version of CryEngine.

The news comes just hours after Epic's announcement that Unreal Engine 4 would be available via a similar subscription system, though Epic is charging developers $19/month per user in addition to five percent royalties on your game's gross sales revenue.

The free version of the CryEngine SDK that is currently available for non-commercial development will remain free, but it will not include the new features that have been incorporated into the latest paid version of CryEngine.

Much like Epic, Crytek is taking pains to portray its transition to a subscription-based licensing model as a step aimed at making its technology more readily available to a broader audience of creators, especially indie developers.


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Comments


Michael Thornberg
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This is an intersting year indeed. So many things are happening :)

Greg Quinn
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Interesting year??

The last day has been more interesting in the game development industry than the last few years lol!

Michael Thornberg
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Where did that statement come from? I'm talking about the present. And this year (in my humble opinion) is quite interesting. Not only as far as gamedevelopment goes, but as a whole. I can't even begin to understand how I made a comparison to last year, or any year Before that.

Phil Maxey
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The ball is most definitely in Unity's court.

Greg Quinn
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Agreed, Unity needs to seriously re-think their subscription pricing model.

Ujn Hunter
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Question: Do developers actually look at this as a good thing? I guess it could be cheaper for most studios, but I absolutely hate the idea of having to pay for something indefinitely or it will be shutoff. I despise Software As A Service. :\

Pedro Ferreira Ramos
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10 bucks ... come on... a dinner in a nice place is more expensive then that.
"I despise Software As A Service." Sorry man, this is the future.

Lance Thornblad
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You're paying for updates and improvements. There seems to be no restriction to usage when the subscription ends. So yeah, I can see how most developers would be happy.

Engine developers like myself, not so much. :/

It reminds me of another article I saw on here about how Steam's latest self-governance policies would drive game prices to zero. Thought it was kind of silly, but now? Hmm...

Freek Hoekstra
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Unreal allows you to take a drop of UE4 and then stop the subscription,
you'd still pay 5% royalties and you don;t get updates but you could get updates every half year or so.

atleast great for me to test things out.
paying no royalties is even better but to be honest whatever tool works better for what I need done is the one I'll get, both options seem very reasonable.

Alan Barton
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We have all wished for better tools and so its a very good thing for indie developers to get better tools, but I can't help thinking its a case of careful what you wish for, because now its going to mean a lot more indie developers entering the market. Lowering the bar to entry into the market, is going to make it even harder for everyone to make a living, because the markets are going to become even more flooded with games. The amount of UDK users for example, shows how many could try to enter the market as indies.

We can all say (and hope) that quality will win out, but the evidence is many non-AAA good indie games get lost and don't earn much, as they are lost in the ever growing mass of not so good games.

Tyler King
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I paid 1500 for unity pro, that would give me 150 months of service with this... I know for a fact that in over 10 years I will not still be using Unity 4.

Also competition is always a good thing for the end user. For Unity to keep me they are going to have to offer competitive features to other AAA engines.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Curtiss Murphy
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How can you ask if it's a good thing? Even with their lower-end tech, Unity has been dominating the market due to low price point. And now, Unreal and Cry have entered the battle! It's wonderful time to be a game dev!

Lance Thornblad
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Wait for it - Source 2 will be free for people that distribute on Steam...

A W
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I wonder if this will resurrect some old Kickstarters had died because of the large amount of money needed to license the engine when it wasn't subscription based.

Shadow of Eternal comes to mind.

Phil Maxey
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That's a very good point.

Edgar Onukwugha
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I feel like most people from debunk Kickstarters are going to Steam Early Access for a second chance at making their games. I recall one game going back into Early Access after a backlash against it, despite already being released. If something like that is able to occur, why settle for Kickstarter?

As for Shadow of Eternal specifically: all the scandal behind that game has earned it so much ill will I doubt that game will see the light of day at this point. Especially if Denis Dyack is still on board.

Bruno Xavier
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Sorry, ‘Cry’ who?!

Booby K
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Another race to the bottom.

Peter Thierolf
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I'm not sure if this can be a race to the bottom.
It is too expensive and takes too much expert knowledge to create a game engine usable by third parties, so the number of possible entrants is limited.
A race to the bottom like scenario could only happen if there was some other way of monetizing, but I can't currently see that.

However, I can't see how cryteks new terms should work out, business wise, so we might have to wait and see.

Michael Thornberg
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I see that their model was a result (a rather quick one) because of what Epic did. Although I am guessing, it is fair to say they felt the rug being pulled under their feet. Unity will also have to do some serious rethinking, because at present they can't even begin to match what Epic did (despite their free version)

David M
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This seems like a knee jerk reaction to the Epic announcement, given that there are zero details on the Crytek website except 'coming soon'. A very desperate and unusual move.

There is no way Crytek can have a profitable engine business at $10 a month subscriptions with the small number of people using their engine. There are only a small handful of non-Crytek games shipping with CryEngine. And Crytek's studio hasn't exactly had a string of hit games recently - Ubisoft took over the Far Cry IP years ago, the Crysis series is dead after #3 fizzled and Ryze was a flop too. They are also far behind on mobile engine tech with zero third party iOS titles and no Android support.

It's definitely a race to the bottom for these guys. We've seen it before - anyone remember Torque, Gamebryo and Shiva? All of these engine companies either went bankrupt, got sold off or had to drastically scale back operations to just a handful of people, effectively killing their products.


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