CryEngine 5.5 preview has just been released at GDC 2018. In addition to several new features, the 5.5 release includes several new learning materials to help new developers get started using CryEngine. Another major change in this release is the availability of source code for the new CryEngine editor. Additionally, Crytek have announced a new royalty based cost structure.
Details of the release from the release announcement:
CRYENGINE 5.5 highlights:
- Getting Started Course: Our new beginner’s course shows users with no experience in game development how to create a full game in CRYENGINE in just 10 chapters.
- SVOGI Improvements: SVOGI can now run on consoles. We have enabled developers to cache SVOGI on the disk and calculate GI completely offline. This means users can make the most realistic scenes yet.
- Terrain System Improvements: New features and enhancements vastly improve the terrain system, including the ability to weight and blend multiple materials, more detailed height maps, and more.
- Updated Entity Components: New and legacy components are integrated in the new entity system, including rain and water ripple entities. A new VR Camera and interaction component makes getting up and running with VR even easier.
- C# Upgrades: We have expanded how users can create C# assets directly inside the Asset Browser, with Visual Studio instances, debugging through the IDE, and more.
- Game Platform Plugins: A brand new Game Platform plugin allows for easy access to common distribution platforms and data transfer protocols. This includes Steamworks and PSN API functions like matchmaking, leaderboards, and achievements.
Crytek are also moving to a straight royalty based subscription model with this release:
Crytek has announced a new 5% royalty-based model for CRYENGINE, alongside a range of improvements, enhancements, new learning offerings, and full access to the editor source code. Developers around the world now have complete, uninhibited, and easy access to the power of CRYENGINE, and the opportunity to have their expertise with the engine recognized.
Creators who release games using CRYENGINE V will find development faster and easier than ever before and incur costs only after $5,000 is raised in revenue. An enterprise tier will also be introduced for custom support packages and royalty buyouts. Developers currently developing on CRYENGINE 5.0-5.4 can apply for a royalty exemption if they wish to stay on the current version and not take advantage of access to the editor source code. For more information, consult the CRYENGINE FAQ pages.
They are moving away from the donation based system they implemented in 5.0 and frankly it makes sense. While a donation based system was excellent for the end user it seemed unviable for a project like CryEngine.