You had to imagine you would hear something from CryEngine from the GDC after Unity and Unreal made their announcements, and they did… sorta.
The full announcement is here, but most of it is below:
As a first tier of its new program, Crytek has revealed that from May this year, indie developers will be able to use all of CRYENGINE's cutting-edge features for a monthly subscription fee of 9,90 USD/EUR per user - royalty free. Those features include the recently announced addition of CRYENGINE features such as Physically Based Shading, Geometry Cache and Image Based Lighting - an upgrade already shown in action by Crytek at this year's GDC conference in San Francisco.
More details about the game-changing opportunities on offer to developers as part of the program will be announced in the near future. The CRYENGINE free SDK will continue to be available under its current terms but developers wanting to take advantage of the new features of CRYENGINE will need to subscribe to the new EaaS-Program.
Crytek's Director of Business Development , Carl Jones, said: "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.”
The launch of the CRYENGINE as-a-service program expands Crytek's online service portfolio, continuing on from their step into self-publishing with free-to-play online FPS, Warface.
… I’ve read and re-read a number of times and I simply can’t get what exactly they just announced. The best I can take away from this comes from:
The CRYENGINE free SDK will continue to be available under its current terms but developers wanting to take advantage of the new features of CRYENGINE will need to subscribe to the new EaaS-Program
So unless there is more to come, CryEngine just announced that updates for CryEngine Free are now… not so free? On the other hand, there is the line:
indie developers will be able to use all of CRYENGINE's cutting-edge features for a monthly subscription fee of 9,90 USD/EUR per user - royalty free.
This sounds like if you pay 10$ a month you can ship a title completely free of royalties? That frankly sounds way too good to be true.
We are going to have to wait for the fine print on this one folks. I will update here if more becomes clear.
So far, this is the only thing I have found from a Crytek employee:
Not exactly revealing. The search continues, there has to be a catch here. Crytek simply can’t make money off $10/month without royalties unless there is a revenue cap or an up-sell somewhere.