Star Citizen Teleports Its Game Engine From CryEngine To Amazon Lumberyard

Cloud Imperium Games has decided to kick CryEngine to the curb and use Amazon's "ground breaking" Lumberyard engine to complete development Star Citizen, an upcoming first-person space combat simulation that started out as a crowdfunding campaign. Same goes for Squadron 45, the single-player experience set in the Star Citizen universe that is described as a "spiritual successor to Wing Commander."

The switch from CryEngine to Lumberyard was first revealed in a new splash screen logo that appeared after applying the most recent alpha patch, version 2.6. An official statement was not far behind.

Star Citizen

"We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,"said Chris Roberts, CIG’s CEO and creative director. "Lumberyard provides ground breaking technology features for online games, including deep back-end cloud integration on AWS and its social component with Twitch that enables us to easily and instantly connect to millions of global gamers. Because we share a common technical vision, it has been a very smooth and easy transition to Lumberyard. In fact, we are excited to announce that our just released 2.6 Alpha update for Star Citizen is running on Lumberyard and AWS."

Amazon announced its Lumberyard game engine earlier this year. One of the big appeals is that it is free—there are no upfront costs, subscription fees, or even royalties regardless of whether the project is private or commercial. It is also cross-platform and provides free access to its native C++ source code, the programming language that's used in more than 90 percent of the top PC and console games.

Star Citizen Space

This is a big win for Amazon, as Star Citizen is the first major project to use the Lumberyard engine. A successful launch could go a long way in giving Amazon and Lumberyard street cred among game developers.

"Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are incredibly ambitious projects which are only possible with great engine technology paired with the transformative power of the cloud. We love how CIG’s bold vision has already inspired a massive community, and we’re thrilled to see what they create with Lumberyard, AWS, and the Twitch community," said Dan Winters, head of business development for Amazon Games. "We’re excited that they’ve chosen Lumberyard and AWS to provide the performance and scalability they need to bring their games to a massive audience."

Meanwhile this is another kick to the gut of Crytek. The company recently announced that it was shuttering five of its seven game studios amid reports of employees not receiving paychecks for weeks and even months.

"Undergoing such transitions is far from easy, and we’d like to sincerely thank each and every staff member–past and present–for their hard work and commitment to Crytek. These changes are part of the essential steps we are taking to ensure Crytek is a healthy and sustainable business moving forward that can continue to attract and nurture our industry’s top talent. The reasons for this have been communicated internally along the way," Crytek co-founder and managing director Avni Yerli said in a statement.

As to Star Citizen and Squadron 42, fans have committed $139 million to their development. There is no word on when the game will be finished.