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Crytek launches CryEngine subscription service -- only on Steam
Crytek launches CryEngine subscription service -- only on Steam
May 28, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

May 28, 2014 | By Christian Nutt
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    17 comments
More: Console/PC, Programming, Production



At GDC Crytek announced that it would launch its CryEngine as a subscription service this May -- and today, it has launched it exclusively via Valve's Steam platform.

The cost is $9.90 a month, with discounts of up to 16 percent available if you subscribe in advance for six months at a time. European subscribers will pay 9.90 a month. This price is a sharp contrast to Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, which is $19 a month -- and also takes 5 percent revenue off the top for any revenue-generating projects.

Epic has been very aggressive in supporting its engine, however, and completely opening up its development to the community via live source access, a step Crytek has not yet taken.

To learn more about CryEngine, you can head to the company's FAQ; if you're interested in subscribing, you can do so via the engine's Steam page.


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Comments


Cassy Murray
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Releasing the engine is all well and good (wonderful, even!), but if they hope to see as much usage as Unreal Engine 4 has received, they'll need to improve communication and documentation over what we've received with the CryENGINE 3 Free SDK in the past. I know once I get home, I'll be signing up - so here's hoping for the best!

Jeff Leigh
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The new race to the bottom. Within a year full triple-A game engines will be worth $0.

They want it, they are desperate for it, they are eagerly slitting their own throats to be known as the "engine cheaper than Unity".

If you say your game engine is only worth $9.90... the world believes you and will hold you to it. A pizza thrown together at Papa Johns in 10-minutes by high-school graduates costs $20.. a thing consumed or spoiled within a couple days. This is now easily worth twice as much as the.... hundreds of thousands of lines of code in CryEngine..?

This does not build my confidence in the quality of the product.

Kevin Simpson
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The engine is worth "10 dollars a month" and also 5% or 20% or something % of everything you make. There still is no "cheap" game engine.

Unity cost 1.5 grand starting, and these only allow you to develop on them with a subscription, to actually sell your game after the fact it can potentially cost you millions of dollars. I don't see how new pricing models that lower the barrier of entry are inherently a bad thing considering they still are all making tons of money, but now only if you make money. And if you don't no harm done, you only spend 240/120 dollars a year.

Jakub Majewski
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Jeff, take note of the fact that regardless of having a set recipe, each pizza has to be produced separately, from freshly-purchased ingredients. There's no shortcuts there, you can't recycle the ingredients from yesterday's pizza (especially if it got eaten!).

With game engines, the story is radically different. There are, obviously, ongoing costs of improving the engine, and sometimes these costs are quite significant. However, by the time an engine is on the market, the bulk of the initial R&D costs have been spent. So then, once these costs have been recouped, an engine's price can be comfortably dropped, and the engine will still be a success as long as the remaining revenue surpasses ongoing costs by a satisfactory margin ("satisfactory" = whatever satisfies the producers of the engine, which will vary from case to case).

Furthermore, these cuts apply only to a select group of customers - namely, those who never bought CryEngine in the first place, because they could not afford it. What indie would reach out for CryEngine? On the other hand, I'm sure that if you read the license conditions (which I haven't), you would soon find that for big studios, nothing has changed - they still need to deal with Crytek on a per-game basis.

For Crytek, this may in the longterm mean better revenues, because the accessibility of CryEngine to indies also means accessibility to students (who are even more budget-conscious than indies :) ). This in turn takes away one of Unreal's really big advantages - namely, that whenever you wanted to hire a beginner level designer, you could easily find dozens who had experience with Unreal, but very few with CryEngine experience.

Greg Scheel
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Console and source licenses for Cryengine still require direct contact and negotiation, so yea. No change there.

Jennis Kartens
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Because some tools become affordable, the games become worthless? Quite absurd, to say at least.

Bruno Xavier
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I guess Jeff is trying to say: "-If the most successful engines out there are now this cheap, is my custom engine of any value?!"

Well, I'd say proly not. That is why nobody want to build engines nowadays unless you are one of the giant corporations.

Jeff Leigh
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I had forgotten that a lot of these engines include a royalty as well, and clearly engines haven't reached zero yet. But I think they are heading down a pretty destructive path.

And to be honest, as Brono points out I had considered several times in the past considered making our game engine public. If we wanted to sell it or even make it open source we should have done that back in 2010. We made a choice at the time that we wanted to focus more on game development and design rather than supporting an engine full-time.

Back to the topic though - I think there is a lot for the industry to lose here. This sudden and radical change in pricing will put the pinch on the smaller alternative engines - new users for those engines will dry up and buy-outs will become easier. How many engines will developers have to choose from 5-10 years from now? Will patents be used where aggressive pricing fails?

Dane MacMahon
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There's also the simple fact that competition is what it is. Outside the three or four massive publishers (who have their own engines) most games are going to be targeting multiple platforms, including lower-spec ones, and need a cheap engine that works on everything. You have to compete on that level, or be phased out.

Wes Jurica
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At least in the case of CryEngine, they don't think this version of their engine is worth that much. This is the Free SDK repackaged and sold with a monthly subscription.

Considering the state of the documentation, limited platforms (Windows only) and the limited features, it's definitely not worth more than $9 to me.

Ben Oakley
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You over pay for your Papa John's pizza...

Wes Jurica
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Nope. Actually, me paying anything for CryEngīne just isn't going to happen. Why would I buy a road car when there is a car available that is amphibious, can fly, go offroad annnd drive on the roads. And when I neeed to do all those things, that onroad car just doesn't get considered.

Scott Southurst
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At $9.90 per month, if you get a few hundred thousand tinkerers sign up, the engine quickly becomes worth so much more than any "AAA" priced engine. And it's not about the "value of the code" or the "quality" (we know these are all top quality engines) - it's about the earning potential for the companies that created and released these engines (Business 101).

And not charging royalties will make this far more attractive than Epic's offering.

Oh, and game engines don't have any correlation to Pizza's.

Greg Scheel
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Epic gives you the code to Unreal 4, and in any case it's the tools that matter, not the royalty at the end. At 5%, I have bigger fish to fry, namely the US govt. wants 40%, unless you got yourself a General Electric quality tax attorney.

Now, I am also looking at the EULA...
Unreal allows use if you cancel subscription, you just need to resub and pay the royalty if you want to release. Crytek insists that you stay subbed...
Crytek is putting limits on the types of games you can make, no Wolfenstien, too many nazis.
Crytek can cancel the subscription deal at any time, tough luck for you. Epic allows continued use of the code you licensed.
Crytek puts limits on use of Cryengine for AV media, namely by controlling where you can sell and distribute it. Epic places no such limits on AV media, as long as you don't sell it. If you do make money, Epic will most likely want a cut, but I have yet to reread the terms that closely.
There are also other subsidiary license terms from Autodesk, Epic also has that kind of thing regarding Nvidia and other third party stuff.

Anyway, the terms differ, read closely and know what you are agreeing to.

Jennis Kartens
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Indeed. The EULA makes the CE somewhat less attractive as both Unity and Unreal.

Bruno Xavier
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I'm not quite sure, but I think CryEngine is Windows and Console targeted only, so UE4 is still a better option. Flexible like Unity, powerful like CE.

Marc Schaerer
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Very nice though there are so many ceavats in this, that I doubt its gonna take off.
The above EULA point is one thing, its usage of Wwise without a license, forcing you to pay another $750 per platform to use the audio commercially is an at least as big blow, for many even worse. I'm quite sure that this will backfire.


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