Today saw the release of version 3.0 of the Xenko game engine. The Xenko game engine was made by Silicon Studios in Japan, previously known as the Paradox 3D engine. It was obviously having some issues as a product, with a few announced changes to the licensing structure and then in March rumours that it would be open sourced. Today that exact thing happened, Xenko 3.0 was released under the MIT license and is now available on GitHub.
As part of this release, Silicon Studios are no longer going to be supporting Xenko development. Fortunately though, this is not the end for Xenko, as one of the engine developers is currently going to be supporting the engine full time, at least in the short term. He has started a Patreon account in an attempt to raise the funding required to continue supporting the game engine going forward.
Details from the announcement:
You read that right. Xenko 3.0 is out now, released under the permissive MIT license.
From now on, you can use and modify Xenko completely free — whether you’re a professional, a student, or just looking for a new hobby. This includes both the runtime and editor.
Main focus for this release was on the open-source transition, but Xenko 3.0 also includes some new features, such as a switch to the new C# project system, video, hair and skin rendering. Read the full release notes here.
Silicon Studio no longer supports Xenko, but members of the Xenko team will continue to work on it independently as part of the community. More specifically, I will personally work on it fulltime for the next few months to see if it picks up some steam as a community project. Kudos to Silicon Studio for starting and supporting the project so far! Turning the project open-source and community-driven is a fantastic achievement.
While the majority of the 3.0 release was targeting at moving to open source, there were a few additional features including video playback support and hair rendering. Additionally the SiliconStudio namespaces were removed, so if you are an existing Xenko developer, you will have to do some refactoring.
If you are interested in learning more about the Xenko game engine, be sure to check out our Closer Look review, as well as our much older Tutorial Series. You can see hands-on with the engine in this video and see what it is capable of in the 2017 demo reel.