Amazon’s paid a lot of money for CryEngine

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Last month, we told you that the ailing graphics-over-gameplay developer and engine creator Crytek was saved by a mysterious licencing deal. “It was a huge one, probably the biggest one,” Crytek co-founder Faruk Yerli said in mid-March. “I can’t say anything more in detail, but hopefully we’ll be able to announce it with the partner soon.”

They’ve not yet announced anything, but according to sources the company that’s saved Crytek’s bacon is not, as Alessandro surmised, one of the big three game publishers. Instead, it’s Amazon – which should be at all surprising with the company’s recent pushes in to gaming.

According to Kotaku and its four independent ninja sources, Amazon has licenced Crytek’s proprietary CryEngine, for somewhere between $50 million and $70 million, which is great news for staff, I’d imagine, as the company’s been unable to pay its workforce on time. Sources seem to believe that Amazon will be using CryEngine as the base for their own engine.

It’s yet another indication that the shipping and media giant has great big plans in the world of video games. Last year, they released their own Android-based Microconsole, the Amazon Fire, but that’s hardly had any impact. They have, however, been snapping up developers, hiring Portal Developer Kim Swift and former Ubisoft staffer, Far Cry 2 designer Clint Hocking for secret projects that we’ve heard nothing about. Amazon also bought up Strider reboot and Killer Instinct developer Double Helix as an internal studio, and we’ve yet to see any output from them. Amazon’s also purchased Twitch, the premier video content provider when it comes to gaming-related media and streaming.

Amazon has grander ambitions for games – and the capital to make a significant dent in the market. Could your next console be an Amazon one?

Last Updated: April 7, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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