Crytek has recently released the full source code for CryEngine on version control system GitHub. Only last March the company had released the latest version of its game engine under a "pay-what-you-want" scheme, meaning developers can get their hands on the tools for less than a dollar, and get familiar with the same apps used to develop games such as Crysis, Far Cry among many others.

David Kaye, Crytek's Senior Systems Engineer, said in a blog post that, "this has been on our internal roadmap for some time, but we wanted to take our time and make sure we got it right." The move is meant to enable a much easier method for users to update the CryEngine tool. Until now, the source code of the engine was shipped in .zip files along with every public release of the tool, which meant it had to be completely re-downloaded. Using GitHub enables developers to be able to download only the updated files, and easily identify which files of these files have been updated.

Although CryEngine isn't completely open source, it gets pretty close. Crytek clarified on this after the announcement:

  • We have today released engine source code of CRYENGINE (latest build being last week's 5.1) on GitHub
  • The GitHub release today is new, but we announced at GDC back in March that we would release full engine source code under our new "Pay What You Want" business model
  • Commercial games: If you so chose, you can take the engine and make a full commercial game for free, yes. There are no royalties or obligations towards CRYENGINE, though contributions to the engine's development and/ or our Indie Development Fund are more than welcome
  • EULA: I usually give ESRB ratings as an example. If your game would get a "M" (or 18 in Europe), it is fine. If there is content that would require it to be rated "Adult's Only", chances are it violates our EULA.
  • Licensees: There are more indie developers than ever using CE for their games these days, and also some unannounced titles from larger companies...

Although you could easily start with CryEngine now, Amazon also launched a free, cross-platforn video game engine called Lumberyard earlier this year. As it turns out Lumberyard is based on CryEngine which according to sources was licensed to the e-commerce giant for as much as $50 to 70 million.