Crytek takes on Unity and Epic Games with new SDK policy; No costs for non-commercial use

Free CryEngine 3 to be released in August

A free edition of CryEngine 3 will be available in August, vendor Crytek has announced.

The Frankfurt-based studio said the new SDK will be free to download for non-commercial purposes.

CryEngine 3 is the high–end multi-platform game engine that powered the FPS blockbuster Crysis 2. In making it free to play with, Crytek is following the path of rival engine firms Unity and Epic Games.

Company CEO Cevat Yerli said the new SDK would reignite the modding community. In an open letter to his fans, he admitted that Crytek recently had few resources to support this area of its business.
“In recent times our focus has been heavily on the development of Crysis 2, however our modding community has been, and remains, very important to us,” Yerli said.

“In August 2011 we will be launching a free CryEngine SDK. If you want to use it for fun, like all our previous MOD SDKs it will be completely free of charge, to anyone who wants to play with it,” he added.

“We’ll be giving you access to the latest, greatest version of CryEngine 3 – the same engine we use internally, the same engine we give to our licensees, the same engine that powers Crysis 2.
“This will be a complete version of our engine, including C++ code access, our content exporters (including our LiveCreate real-time pipeline), shader code, game sample code from Crysis 2, script samples, new improved Flowgraph and a whole host of great asset examples, which will allow teams to build complete games from scratch for PC.”

Documentation, written by those who made the engine, will also be available for all, Crytek said.

“We’ll update the Free CryEngine SDK regularly, to make sure you have access to all the advances we make to CryEngine 3,” read a statement on the company’s website.

Crytek revealed plans for a free-to-use engine SDK in April last year. The firm told Develop that its engine business was “not the same as what Epic or Unity are doing, but we are now pushing harder on this area”.

The principal behind making engines free to play with is to give developers a new muse, encouraging professional projects using the tech.

“If you want to use it to make a game to launch commercially, we’d like to help you with that,” Crytek added.

“If you want to take your product down a traditional commercial route, we will offer an innovative low cost licensing model if you want to release your game digitally.”

Meanwhile, Crytek also said it will also launch an editor for Crysis 2 for PC customers. The tech will allow users to build custom content such as maps and items.

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