Amazon is continuing to make great strides into the video game market, with the announcement of their new development engine known as ‘Lumberyard’. The engine is completely free to download and utilize, akin to the Unity engine. Lumberyard is the culmination of technology borrowed from CryEngine, AWS, Twitch and Double Helix, boasting high-end 3D modelling capability, an in-built networking platform and a free streaming service to broadcast your work.

The engine is designed with multiple platforms in mind. It currently offers support for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with iOS and Android support inbound. Further, VR support will be available in the near future. The Lumberyard download package also includes the C++ source code, allowing for further modification of the engine if you are so inclined.

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Amazon Lumberyard in action

If you’re curious as to what Amazon stands to gain out of offering a free game development platform, the answer is relatively simple: word of mouth. With Lumberyard acting as an extension of the Amazon brand, anything that comes out of the engine will serve to bring people back to Amazon, from suppliers to customers. This is a common approach to expansion for Amazon, as we’ve seen them take similar strides with Amazon Underground, and the recent universal discount on gaming products. There’s no question that the approach is working for the company, as they continue to thrive.

We recently saw the Unity engine expand to the 3DS family, providing an excellent opportunity for those looking to get into the handheld development scene. While Amazon has announced no plans to bring Lumberyard to portable systems, it remains as an invaluable tool for upstart developers to learn the ropes. As 3D modelling software, it may also serve as an asset for artists or animators. If you’re interested in learning more about Lumberyard, head over to the official page for further details.