Last night I bought 64 rolls of toilet paper from Amazon. Why? Because Amazon Prime meant I could, and because Amazon are trying very hard to become the first and only stop for absolutely everything.
And they show no signs of stopping, because today they’ve released “Lumberyard“, a game engine that can be used to develop games for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One (thanks to deals with Microsoft and Sony). And it’s completely free.
There’s no download cost, no royalties, and no subscription fee. So where are Amazon making dat dollah? In the backend services, of course. Amazon will charge for the use of their servers – you’ll be able to use your server, but Amazon will be the only third-party servers available. And of course, since Amazon owns Twitch.tv, streaming integration tools for that service are inbuilt. If you want to build a server based video game, Amazon have also released GameLift, a service used in conjunction with Lumberyard that will allow you to create and run your very own MMOs.
With the base engine completely free, and prices for GameLift starting at $1.50 per 1,000 players, perhaps all those MMORPG “bigger-than-Minecraft” Kickstarter projects asking for $50,000 will actually happen. And with the competitors all asking for a license or royalty fee, this could be very successful indeed.
If you want to have a poke around, Lumberyard is currently in beta.