Unreal Engine 4, CryEngine Now Affordable For Indie Developers Via Subscription

Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine have both became affordable for the average indie game developer after Epic Games and CryTek both adopted a subscription model. In addition, AMD is working with CryTek to add Mantle support for CryEngine.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, a comparison of the PC and PlayStation 4 Unreal Engine 4 demos shows how even the mighty PS4 GPU is relatively slow and cannot handle ray tracing methods like path finding.

For the longest time indie developers have had to make do with video game engines like Unity and Torque, which have progressed greatly over the years but still can't match the capabilities of UE 4 and CryEngine. To give you an idea, years ago the licensing fee for Unreal Engine was rumored to be somewhere in the range of $1 million, putting it well out of reach of garage businesses (unless you happened to make the next Flappy Bird).

Now just this week both companies have changed the indie game development landscape forever. Crytek's Director of Business Development, Carl Jones, explained they intended to make CryEngine available for only $9.99 per month per user:

"When we announced the new CRYENGINE this was our first step towards creating an engine as a service. We are happy to announce now that the latest update of CRYENGINE will soon be available to all developers on a subscription basis. We are really excited to make CRYENGINE available to hundreds of thousands of developers working with Crytek to make awesome games."
CryEngine is best known for games like Ryse: Son of Rome and the Crysis series. But the Unreal Engine is perhaps better known for its games, which is an expansive list including well-known series like Mass Effect, Gears of War, Devil May Cry, Bioshock, and Borderlands.

So when Unreal Engine 4 also became available for a $19 monthly fee you've got to be certain there was some whiplash among some indie developers. Of course, unlike with CryEngine, Epic Games charges an additional five percent of gross revenue, but that's quite a discount because they used to charge a whopping 25 percent.

CryEngine does have one major benefit on the PC side, though. AMD is working to add Mantle support soon so future games should run much better. An AMD Mantle PS4 and Xbox One GPU patch was hoped for by console fans, and some developers would like to see a common API for both platforms. Considering this, we should expect UE 4 to add Mantle support soon enough, although it's believed DirectX 12 will include Mantle-like improvements. Unreal Engine 4 is also natively supported by Firefox for web browser games.