News Article

Crytek Confirms a "CRYENGINE as-a-service" Subscription Model for Small Developers

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

$9.90/€9.90 monthly cost per user to access latest updates

Last year we reported that Crytek's latest CRYENGINE tool-set includes support for Wii U, a welcome inclusion due to the popularity of the technology with various developers. It's a powerful engine that produces some of the strongest visuals currently available, and is utilised in some big-name triple-A titles, including Crytek's own Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome.

CRYENGINE has been available as a free SDK (software development kit) for non-commercial game projects for a number of months, giving those interested a chance to explore its capabilities prior to jumping in and obtaining a commercial license. Crytek has now, however, revealed a new model to encourage more small developers to use the technology on a commercial basis — CRYENGINE as-a-service will be a monthly subscription (from May) that provides a full royalty-free license for $9.90/€9.90 per user per month. Unlike the free SDK this will allow commercial products, and will include all features and updates to get the most out of the technology.

Crytek's Director of Business Development, Carl Jones, said the following:

When we announced the new CRYENGINE this was our first step towards creating an engine as a service. We are happy to announce now that the latest update of CRYENGINE will soon be available to all developers on a subscription basis. We are really excited to make CRYENGINE available to hundreds of thousands of developers working with Crytek to make awesome games.

It's certainly an interesting new entry into the low budget, download-only development space. Unity is particularly popular in the download scene, for example; free Unity licensing is provided by Nintendo for Wii U releases. For comparison a standard Unity Pro package currently costs $1500 up front or $75 per month; clearly a developer's decision relies on far more than just cost, with considerations such as ease-of-use, porting capabilities and the level of support / documentation to also consider. Whether CRYENGINE provides accessibility in usage as well as price, or whether its advanced technology is too great a challenge for small teams, is something that will likely emerge in the coming months.

More affordable tools for developers should mean more games, ultimately, so hopefully everyone wins.


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User Comments (31)



unrandomsam said:

"It's certainly an interesting new entry into the low budget, download-only development space. Unity is particularly popular in the download scene, for example; free Unity licensing is provided by Nintendo for Wii U releases. For comparison a standard Unity Pro package currently costs $1500 up front or $75 per month;"

Are you certain that the level of access you get from Nintendo is equivalent to Unity Pro ? It is potentially very misleading.

(In another thread somebody commented that they couldn't use native code so had to send the devkit back which implies to me it is not the pro feature set. At least that you can just get fairly easily).

I dunno what is and isn't correct but just repeating propaganda with no real substance is pointless.



rjejr said:

Enough w/ the small developers already, whats more important, is the Wii U getting Far Cry 4?

I wanna ride me an elephant thru the Himalayan mountains



Yorumi said:

@unrandomsam this coming from the person who doesn't understand what unity is, the difference between a game engine and a game, and other things? And you don't understand at all what the person was saying in the other thread you're referring to because you don't understand anything about engines and coding.

The whole point of the deal nintendo made with unity was to provide it to developers with the cost of the kit. Just including unity free would have been entirely pointless and no real deal would have been needed.



unrandomsam said:

@Yorumi I know what it is. Could be parts of pro. I know what I know anyway and I don't care what you do or do not think I know.



Yorumi said:

@unrandomsam no you don't know what it is at all. Unity is not used in any capacity to write native system code on any system. The option to buy the unity source code isn't this either because at that point you're not using unity anymore you're using a native c++ compiler to rebuild a program. A unity pro license gives you full access to unity, not any native system implementations of things.

For even suggesting you would use Unity to write native system code shows you're total, complete, and absolute ignorance of anything relating to Unity and what it actually is.

Unity is a rendering, scripting, and resource management engine. It's core implementation is already compiled. What you do with unity is set up games, script objects, and then compile the scripts, art, etc. into a binary file format that the unity player can interpret and translate into native system calls to perform the requested operation. It functions similarly to java in the way it uses the JVM(java virtual machine) to ensure cross platform compatibility.

Again Unity is NOT used to write native system binaries for execution.



Yorumi said:

@epicdude12302 it's hard to say if it will, it's aimed at small developers and unity has never really been a barrier there. However, it's definitely a positive because more competition in the game engine market will make available cheaper and better engines. It'll be interesting to see what people do with it if anything.



AyeHaley said:

Cry-Engine or Unity, which is better suited for beginners? Any other (easy to learn) option?



aaronsullivan said:

@AyeHaley I can't speak for cry-engine but I develop using Unity and it has recently ramped up official top-notch learning resources (tutorials, projects, etc.) that I really wish I had when I started more than 6 years ago. They are in a good place as a company and have a long-standing community of indie developers.

Unity also has more platform flexibility: Mac, mobile, etc.

I'd download the free version of each and take a weekend to go through the demo projects and official tutorials for each and see which you like the feel of.

In the past, Unreal and Crytek were really geared towards FPS games where Unity makes no such assumptions, but I don't think that comes into play as much anymore, especially with Unreal. Once again, I don't have real experience with those.

Hope that helps.



Yorumi said:

@AyeHaley I don't have experience with cryengine but unless it has some kind of just awful interface, there's probably little difference. Remember these are mostly the rendering and scripting engines. You still have to know how to build a full engine minus the rendering component.

Unity compiles c# or javascript syntax, and according to their website cryengine compiles lua. So it would depend on any experience with those languages, if no experience in any of those then it's probably about the same. You will without question need programing knowledge to use unity or cryengine, there are tutorials for all that and you can learn but it's absolutely required.

If you're coming from a truly neutral background(no programing experiece at all, and no real modeling experience either) I'd recommend you look at both. See what the interface looks like, how good the tutorials are and such and then just decide which one you like you better. The only major advantage Unity has over cryengine is even though it's missing packages you could deploy a commercial product on unity free. You'd find it hard and limiting but at least it's legal.



ungibbed said:

It's a huge bonus for those smaller developers that are on a tight budget. With Unity, it makes stage building far easier as well as complex lighting and access to shader effects that would take much longer to perform on their own. If Nintendo floated the bill for the Unreal Engine 3 (and or possibly 4) would also make a huge wave for indies out there.

For those that don't fully understand what Unity is, it is a "middleware" game engine that can be scaled to most any platform that the owners of the Unity Game Engine support. Starting with mobile phones and tablets and such.

If anyone remembers Renderware in the days of the GameCube, Renderware is very much the same type of game engine that allowed code to be easily portable and with decent results back in the day.

With Unity, it is essentially a tool to simplify game source code for multiple platforms.

Now I wonder if Id Tech 5 would easily run on the Wii U? Let alone the RAGE engine that has pushed plenty of hits on the PS3 and Xbox from R*...



Windy said:

I wish somebody could take something as simple as like coaster creator for us guys who know absolutely nothing and make a game making type game which people could make anything their hearts desired and share them with friends with simple file transfers. This sounds great for professional devs



Yorumi said:

@Windy the problem comes from actually managing to make something like that, it's a harder task than it sounds. What you're talking about is called abstraction, you're hiding the implementation of things from the person designing the program.

The more you rely on a machine to make decisions the worse decisions you tend to get. With minimal amounts of abstraction a user would need to at least understand core programing concepts but not actual code. High levels of abstraction leads to something that's not customizable and is fairly specialized.

To give a more concrete example lets look at coaster creator. It's highly abstracted, and that makes it great for one thing, building coasters. But what if you want to change the weight of the car, well you can't. You can't change the physics, or camera modes or things like that. Building a 2d platformer is completely different from a 3d one, and both are different from a fps, isometric top down rpg, simulation, fighting game, etc.

See to make those things you need to understand if statements, variables, loops, etc. Well knowing those means you know programing concepts, just not programing syntax. The thing is syntax is the easy part, so if you know concepts, you can very easily learn unity syntax, or cryengine syntax or any other engine. Just to highlight this further, any programer could learn any other program language in a matter of a month, and be fairly proficient in it in just a few months, that's how easy syntax actually is.

It's a nice dream, it's just unfortunately not something that's realistically possible.



unrandomsam said:

@Yorumi Unity Pro - Native Code Plugins Support by definition if you cannot do that then it isn't Unity Pro but some subset of it.



Yorumi said:

@unrandomsam I was hoping you'd take the hint and realize you're level of total ignorance. Native code plugins means that unity can load functions from a library compiled from native system code. It does not mean that it can compile said library. You must write the library in some C type language, compile it with a native system compiler, and then separately tell unity to link to the library.

This allows for connection to things like twitter and facebook apis, or in the case of the wiiU things like miiverse.

Unity is a c#/javascript compiler that compiles to a unity player binary, this is all it does, and what allows unity to work across all platforms. A unity player binary is NOT a system binary, it is not a native c# compiler. If you compile for example the same c++ on a windows OS and a Unix OS, the code with function exactly the same yet the binaries will be completely different. Neither binary could execute on it's non-native system.

System compilers create machine level instructions that are specific to the system they're made for. In the case of unity the machine it's targeting is the unity player, a VM, not a real machine. The unity player itself must be written and compiled for each platform it runs on because it does the interpretation of the unity binary translating it into native system code. Again this is roughly the same way java achieves platform independence.

The makers of unity would need access to the wiiU's instruction language and other things to even attempt a native system compiler. Nintendo isn't giving that out, and though it can likely be discovered it's also likely to be highly illegal to distribute something like that.

So in conclusion you have no idea what unity, a compiler, vm, binary, plugin, or anything else related to how computers or game engines work.



Dark-Link73 said:

@rjejr I completely empathize with you. I know that Indie developers are the ones really supporting the Wii U right now but I don't feel we need to hear every little news regarding Indie/small developers. Next thing I know we'll have news article about Indie developers sneezing over their Wii U!

Maybe is just me that I'm frustrated with developers doing Wii U support but still story X1 and PS4. Unfortunately for me most Indie games out and coming don't look appealing to me. So I'm stuck with whatever little Nintendo and make third party might offer. To top it off, the latest Assassin's Creed game is not coming out for Wii U.



JaxonH said:

No, it's not getting Far Cry 4.

At first I was like, "who cares about small developers and indies", but after seeing the recent surging influx of quality games coming to Wii U eShop, I've done a complete 180 on the matter. These games aren't all just 8-bit throwbacks, we're talking some really high quality stuff coming our way. In fact, some of these games look like they will rival even the best that retail 3rd party games can offer. You look at Aztez, you look at Mighty No 9, you look at Art of Balance HD, or Project Cars, or Fast Racing Neo (no footage, but judging from Fast Racing League on Wii, it's gonna be one of the best looking games on Wii U), or what we're expecting for Oddworld New & Tasty, Strangers Wrath HD, Aqua Moto Racing HD or Shantae Half Genie Hero... this is all quality stuff!!!

And even the more simple games, they still look good too! I mean, Shovel Knight, Scram Kitty, Child of Light (not technically indie, but might as well be), Affordable Space Adventures, Teslagrad... these all look like really, really fun games! I know I'm forgetting some too- there's just been SO many lately it's hard to keep up with- Armillo, Nihilumbra, Sync, Porta8, Azure Striker Gunvolt... the list grows on a daily basis it seems. That's a VERY good thing. Of course, not everything will be good, but with this many games coming, we only need a small percentage to pan out.



readypembroke said:

The only difference between these Cryengine games and Crysis 3 for Wii U is that the other games won't get ended by EA,



rjejr said:

@Dark-Link73 _ I know GDC this week is the reason for all the Wii U budget games, and I'm glad to see them coming to Wii U, some will be good, but I do feel a little left out while the rest of the industry is talking about Assassins Creed, Far Cry 4, Batman, Titanfall, inFamous 2nd Son, MGS, Destiny et al.

Got my copy of Game Informer in the mail today - its a magazine subscription from Gamestop - and Sonic Boom was just about the only retail Wii U game, with Shovel Knight a DL. And I never did find any mention of 3DS, which is just weird as that always has games.

On the bright side, its SO BAD right now I know things will get better, we'll get a bunch of games soon, but this lull in year 2 is annoying. Last year they at least got to blame it on Ubi holding back Rayman, but Lego City Undercover did come out, this year its all on Nintendo's bad timing.

@JaxonH - I'm most looking forward to Stick it to the Man, I was a big fan of Psychonauts, and this looks like a 2D version to me, w/ actual Gamepad usage. And Swords and Soldiers 2 which at the moment looks like a Wii U exclusive, which will actually save me money b/c bought the 1st on Wiiware, PS3 (after the Move patch) and Android. And a couple of others but I know them more by sight than name, there are so many and I'm easily confused. And yeah, the Ubi not indie Child of Light, which bothers me about the "indie" label.

On the bright side - free Wii Sports Club U all weekend long. My Wii U is going to be very busy for a change.



JaxonH said:

I read your response above the one you addressed to me, and I thought I would chime in: I've been a member of Power Up Rewards for a long time, and get GameInformer every month. Dude, that magazine straight pisses me off. They neglect Nintendo all the time. Run full, 6 page spanned articles about every game under the sun for other platforms, but throw a half page description at the very back of the magazine for DKC Tropical Freeze, Bravely Default, and any other Nintendo exclusive. And for multiplats that come to Wii U, where they list all the platforms it's for, 50% of the time they omit Wii U from the list, EVEN THOUGH the game is on Wii U too.

I actually wrote them a letter complaining about it (and they published it lol, check Sept or Oct issue I think) But itt wasn't just that. They really go out of their way to make Nintendo look as bad as possible. They had this little box about Nintendo online, with a picture of the Wii U Wara Wara Plaza, saying how you can't friend people and that they're stuck in the stone age with friends codes. 3DS uses friend codes (for safety reasons), but Wii U does not. Yet, they show a picture of the Wii U when they say it, IMPLYING that the Wii U uses friend codes when it doesn't. And I guarantee you that's why there's so much ignorance out there concerning Nintendo. 80% of the readers probably read that and said "Oh, friend codes on Wii U, of course online sucks on Wii U" and will never know any better. Don't read that magazine for Nintendo news. They listed their 20 editors in an issue recently, with their top 10 games of the year, and all but THREE of them had lists without a single Nintendo game on it. All of em started with The Last of Us or GTA5. I'm like, are you kidding me? Where's the BALANCE here?

And the rest of the industry talks about those games (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, etc) because that's all the rest of the industry has. That's their top games they look forward to. They don't get Mario. They don't get Zelda. They don't get DKC. They don't get Mario Kart. They don't get Smash. They don't get X. They don't get any of the top-shelf exclusives we get. They get AAA multiplats for the most part. And the common denominator with those games is big bark, little bite. Huge hype, mediocre games. A mountain of talk, then quickly forgotten after release. Look at Tomb Raider, my first PS4 game I deemed worthy of finishing (KZ sucks and I regret buying, which plays to my point). It won Game of the Year I think, didn't it? Or something like that. Very critically acclaimed game. I played it, and I enjoyed it, but you know what, that game didn't even measure up to the average Wii U exclusive. Pikmin 3 was better. W101 was better. And these are games not even Nintendo fans hype up much. Yet even they were better. Titanfall? It's an online only, never-ending multiplayer match. 300 articles of hype before release, and yet no actual GAMERS are talking about it now that it's out. I wonder why that is... (big bark, little bite). You look at DKC though- a game very few hyped up, and people are STILL raving about that game, making videos on Youtube, labelling it hall of fame.

Let them talk about their games. When ours come, we'll certainly be talking about ours.



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH I don't get that magizine but I just wanted to add to the friend code thing. The friend code complaint that plenty of others are guilty of really highlights a strong bias against nintendo. Sure they were bad on the DS where it was per game, but when it's per system it's just stupid to complain. Where's everyone complaining about their cell phone still using "friend codes", and beyond that a username is still basically just a friend code. I suppose a username is a tiny bit more convenient but good grief it's just one of the most blown out of proportion complaints.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Yorumi Agreed, it's not like it's hard to friend someone or message someone. I think too many people don't think about the real risks involved in allowing random people to IM each other, even if it is just a games console. Imagine if you could text anyone you could see on the street with a smartphone? I think I'd be binning my phone within a week!

On-topic, I suspect the big engine makers are hedging their bets against further collapse of the big publishers. Will Epic be making a similar move with Unreal Engine?



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - Thanks for reminding me - there actually was a 3DS mention in a review for Professor Layton, I wanted to correct my previous post.

There is obviously a bias in that mag, it's printed for Gamestop shoppers - ie FPS fans - not Wii playing soccer moms and families. Though they did run a nice spread on W101, and I think Pikmin 3. And MK8 will certainly be covered, as will SSB. And Zelda if it's announced at E3. And Skylanders - who skipped the toy show announcement this year so all is quiet there. So the way I see it, they don't cover Nintendo much b/c there currently isn't anything to cover. And that has to partly be Nintendo's fault for having a 3 month space between games. It's just too long.

Lack of 3rd party support may not be Nintendo fault, but it's still depressing.



JaxonH said:


I remember when Wonderful 101 was coming out. GameInformer didn't even mention it- if it weren't for a 4 page paid advertisement from Nintendo, it wouldn't have been in the magazine at all. I know there might not be anything to cover this moment, but there was plenty to cover last summer all the way through Mario 3D World. And 3D World was a really huge release. But again, it gets a little one page article in the back of the magazine the month it comes out. So ya, it's more than just not having anything to cover. DKC for example, that game deserved more than one page in the back of the mag. Same for Bravely Default.

Needless to say, I let my PUR expire last week, and I decided to jump on Gamer's Club Unlocked through Best Buy. They had a deal yesterday- 2 years for $60, so I bought 4 years of membership for $120. No magazine anymore, but that's 4 years of getting 20% off new games (and you know me, I buy like 50 games a year so this should definitely be worth it).



JaxonH said:


They can be inconvenient at times, I'll admit that, but it's not really that big a deal. The real kicker to me is trying to make it sound like the Wii U uses them. Idk if those writers do it out of ignorance, or if they're working an agenda to damage the reputation of the Wii U as much as possible. Between that, and leaving out "Wii U" for multiplats on the system, while listing every other platform under the sun the game is on (PS3/PS4/360/X1/PC/Mac), it's not hard to understand why one would come to that conclusion.



TourianTourist said:

Epic already did. They released their new Unreal Engine 4 this week with a 19$ per month subscription model. However, it doesn't support consoles right now, which is why this wouldn't be newsworthy for NintendoLife.



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - "4 page paid advertisement from Nintendo"

But I really liked that faux newspaper 4 page advertisement. Guess we'll see what MK8 gets. SSB should be big as well. I guess Bayoentta 2 coverage will be telling.



GreenX1 said:

Wow...a cheaper price, model than UnrealEngine 4, LESS demanding specs AND BETTER GRAPHICS...Epic needs to get its crud together in order to compete.

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