Crytek are also targeting indies, announce royalty free CryEngine subscription

It's WAR! Not real war, with bombs and screaming, but tech war, with payment models and indie schmoozing. Last night, Epic unveiled their subscription plan for Unreal Engine 4, offering the binary development tools and engine source for $19 per month. Now, Crytek have announced their own "CryEngine-as-a-service" subscription model. It has a couple of advantages over Epic's plan: it's cheaper, at $9.90 per month, and it's royalty free.

"CRYENGINE gives users access to the same award-winning toolset that was used to create Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome," explain Crytek in a press release , "and equips them to develop outstanding games across all of today's leading platforms." Subscribers will get full use of the engine's features, including Physically Based Shading, Geometry Cache and Image Based Lighting, whatever they are . As an added bonus, it was also announced that the CryEngine now supports Linux development.

The royalty free offer could be significant. Under Epic's plan, developers will pay 5% of any revenue earned from Unreal Engine 4 games. Crytek, meanwhile, seem happy to get their engine into use. That said, they also say this is a "first tier" of their plan, with any additional options currently unannounced. The CryEngine-as-a-service program will be available to indies from May.

As proof of what their engine can achieve, Crytek released two showcase trailers for GDC. The first collects the graphical splendour of their full-fat CryEngine, as used for Star Citizen and Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

The second is a showcase of the CryEngine Free SDK, available for non-commercial projects. That it's an equally pretty round-up is a promising showcase of what indies could achieve with the full tool.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.