One of the quietest announcements to come out of GDC 2016, King has released the Defold game engine to all developers for free.
The tech was created by devs Ragnar Svensson and Christian Murray, who started work on it in 2007. The Defold duo entered a partnership with King in 2013, before the Candy Crush firm acquired the engine and its creators a year later.
Now the tech is available to all. While it works as a 3D engine, with better support for this on the way, the toolset specialises in creating 2D games for mobile and desktop.
Devs can use the editor on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux (32-bit), and deploy games to these three platforms plus iOS, Android and HTML5 from a single codebase.
Defold uses the Lua language for scripting and is compatible with external Git tools. It has already been used by King to create titles such as Blossom Blast Saga.
You can find a full list of features here.
While games developed with the engine need to be stored on the Defold servers – the team is working on enabling support for other storage providers – the company stresses that there are “no hidden costs, fees or royalties”.
“This may seem out of the ordinary, that a commercial game company releases its core technology for free, but here’s how we see it: the more people who use Defold, the better the engine will be,” the team writes in an FAQ.
“By releasing Defold to the community, everyone can help making Defold better, by creating tutorials, by finding bugs, improving the documentation, and much more. And since King uses Defold internally, every day – the better the engine gets, the happier our internal developers will be.
“We believe great tech attracts great talent. All in all, we believe this ultimately leads to better games – not only for us at King, but for all game developers.”