After their $1 billion acquisition of Twitch in 2014, Amazon continues to dip its toes into gaming. Today the online retailer announced Amazon Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform, 3-D game engine, capable of delivering the “highest quality games,” featuring “beautiful worlds, realistic characters, and stunning real-time effects.”

 

Developers will still need to pay the usual Amazon Web Services fee to develop on Lumberyard, but otherwise the engine is free.

Not only is Amazon helping would-be developers with a free, high quality gaming engine, but they will also launch GameLift, a program that will work in conjunction with Lumberyard to aid developers by increasing the scale and performance of their online multiplayer games “without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.”

Gamelift requires a “small per-player fee” that equals out to $1.50 for every 1,000 active users per day.

 

amazon gamelift

 

After Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch, it seems only natural that Twitch support is built into the engine.

Developers who use Lumberyard will be given full access to the engines source code, along with a “full-featured editor” that includes cloth physics, character and animation editors, audio tools, weather effects, and vehicle systems.

In a press release Amazon talked about this new service by saying:

“By starting game projects with Amazon Lumberyard, developers are able to spend more of their time creating differentiated gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building game engine components and managing server infrastructure. And, with Amazon GameLift, developers can be sure that on day one, their live, multiplayer games can scale to support millions of players, while maintaining the high performance gamers expect.”

 

The Lumberyard beta launches today for PC and console developers. Mobile and VR support will be added at a later date according to Amazon.

 

About The Author

Evan W
Senior Staff Writer/Review/Editorial Writer

Evan discovered gaming with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis and never looked back. He has spent the last 20 years criss-crossing genres and platforms, and is an equal opportunity rager, breaking consoles and PCs alike. If you spent summer days off from middle school playing classic PC shooters instead of developing a tan and social skills, you've got a friend in him. Mom might not understand the pain of being "180NOSCOPEWTFPWNED, SON!", but he does. Oh, he does.