Amazon have just announced Lumberyard, a free to use game engine aimed at creating the next generation of PC, mobile and console games. As with everything Amazon it’s heavily integrated with their eco-sphere with inbuilt support for Amazons AWS cloud platform and Twitch, the gamers video community site, which Amazon purchased in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.
Lumberyard is based around a modified version of the popular Cryengine though it’s rapidly losing out to Unity and Unreal which are considered to be more flexible. Whilst Lumberyard is free to download Amazon are hoping to generate revenue from the AWS cloud services that the engine integrates with and to that end have included some very tempting features. GameLift, for example, will allow developers to quickly bring online game servers to support surging numbers of gamers with each server instance making use of the usual AWS tariff.
From the outset this doesn’t really affect general Android users. Lumberyard doesn’t currently export to Android at all. However it’s easy to see a future in which Amazon Kindle Fire devices have access to a rich range of games before other platforms with Amazons AWS cloud platform providing massive cloud-based processing power and delivering awesome games on cost effective hardware.
With Apple TV, Google Nexus Player and Amazon Fire TV all fighting for space in your living room, it only takes a small nudge for one of them to get real traction. Could gaming be Amazons secret weapon?
We spoke to Iestyn Lloyd of Lloyd Digital, a Unity developer and VR expert; “It’s too early to tell what impact Lumberyard will have on the market but it’s likely that Amazon are going to support to support all their (Fire) devices and this can only mean good things”.