Crytek undercuts Unreal Engine 4 with $10 CryEngine subscription

You don't have to put 'Cry' in your game title just because Crytek does it, either.

Hot on the heels of Epic announcing a $19 monthly subscription for Unreal Engine 4, Crysis and Ryse developer Crytek has revealed that developers will be able to license its CryEngine for $9.90 a month per user.

Unlike Unreal Engine 4, which asks for 5 percent of revenue made from selling the game, Crytek says that its CryEngine subscription will not require any royalty payments.

"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,” said Crytek's Carl Jones.

CryEngine is already available for free for those developing software for non-commercial use, but those wanting access to the engine's new features will also need to subscribe to the new plan.

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174 comments
jhonut
jhonut

Nobody said anything about the fact that you have to convert your textures to cry tif  in order to use them? This is minor but still

dannydopamine18
dannydopamine18

I prefer AAA games that create their own engines from scratch.. When game companies rent someone elses game engine it just doesn't feel as unique.. I can tell what game is using unreal engine from a mile away.

The problem with rentable game engines like Cryengine, Unreal engine, Unity.. Is they are generic engines which are super packed with an incredible amount of features in order to have 'Something for everybody" Whereas engines written from scratch made for ONE specific game seem to be less bloated down by unnecessary scripts and features.

When games use their own engine it just feels RIGHT. Like dark souls uses its own engine. just cause2, battlefield3, Sleeping dogs, Alan wake, payday2,  Far cry 2/3, Kingdoms of amalur, Killzone, Uncharted, Halo, Two worlds 2

gdeveloper2014
gdeveloper2014

UE4 has the better deal. You can unsubscribe anytime and still be able to keep your current version of UE4 plus anything else you downloaded. You can still log in your account and keep your licence and sell your game under the terms and agreements you made before you cancelled. Lets not forget UE4 covers almost all platforms and consoles. You just won't get access to any live updates. CryEngine supports only PC unless you contact them directly. Once you cancel or unsubscribe you lose your account, licence, and access to everything. UE4>CryEngine

spectralmerc
spectralmerc

"Undercuts". That would assume they're offering a similar quality product for a lower price. However, I have experience with both, and as  far as I'm concerned, Unreal Engine 4 could charge 30 bucks a month and Cryengine only 5 and I would still stick with UE 4. Not only is it incredibly flexible, but you can do everything inside the editor. The CSG tools in UE 4 are good enough to deal with most of your modeling needs. Also, the Material Editor, Cascade (particles), Matinee and APEX (also known as PhysX), are all implemented in an extremely intuitive and streamlined way that is miles ahead of Cryengine's Flow Chart, Track View and Material Editor. Cryengine is superior in terrain generation, no doubt, but Unreal Engine 4 is just... fun.

zacrupnow
zacrupnow

CryEngine used to be free...

codename_halo
codename_halo

I feel a bit sorry for Crytek, from day one the only thing they ever tough about was a way to get to EPIC, from bad mouthing them to now something like this, very odd behavior, they wouldn't do st like this in a million years if EPIC hadn't done it first, and that's what sad about them... Anyways, maybe be a bit less concerned about what EPIC does and a bit more concerned about how you make games, Crytek?

ashyblood
ashyblood

I'm confused about how the subscriptions work with Unreal Engine and CryENGINE. If I have downloaded and installed UDK (the older UE3 based) and want to develop a game and release it without a subscription, may I do that? Other than the sub being meant for support, is it required before I can release a game and if so can I just wait until my game is near-complete before I start paying the subscription fee?

kitsudragon
kitsudragon

After reading this article (and assuming it accurately represents the nature of Crytek's offer,) it's not hard to see why Crytek's offer isn't as good as Unreal's. In fact, it's significantly worse.

Let's do the math...

Let's start by assuming we're building an MMO, and we have to decide on the engine. An MMO works in this example because it's consistent, monthly revenue with a large user base, and will highlight the problem with Crytek's offer. For the purposes of this example, we will only look at a single user in the MMO game, because it doesn't matter in the end how many users you use in the example, it's the same for one or one million.

With the Crytek model, the developer is charged $10 per month for every user who uses their product. This forces the MMO developer to charge a subscription, because you can't be certain you can make your funding requirements every month depending entirely on microtransactions. Considering the usual costs in the industry today for a subscription funding system, this works out to about $15 per user, per month.

Under the Crytek model, the developer would have to pay 66% of their monthly revenue to Crytek, leaving them with only $5/month off of that user in which to pay things like leasing costs, electricity, hardware, salaries, other licensing fees, and do more R&D development. This is basically impossible. Using that strategy, the developer may as well be a subsidiary of Crytek, because the developer sure as heck isn't making any money with *that* model!

The Unreal model charges $19/month flat, with 5% of the gross revenue. This means that using the same model above, the developer would have to pay about seventy-five cents from each user to Unreal, along with a monthly licensing fee of $19. This allows the developer to retain about 99% of their income for everything else, and invest heavily in future R&D and game development.

If I were presented both of these offers, and had to make my choice exclusively on what I've been told so far, I know who *I* would pick, and it *wouldn't* be Crytek!

MN121MN
MN121MN

Hmm...who's next to come to the Engine Wars?

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

"The gamer is not going to know that the developer has been able to change the jump height 10 times in five minutes, but they will get a game where it's potentially much more tweaked because [the developers] were able to tweak quickly instead of, ‘I changed the jump height; let's wait 10 minutes for a build to compile and then play.' Instead, it's ‘change, change, change, change, it's good, move on to the next thing.'

"[In older engines], if you wanted to change the relationship between your weapon damage and how long it'll take to kill a creature, you may spend a couple of days iterating, but if you have to spend a lot of time waiting for a build every time, you're talking one change, waiting 15 minutes for the compile to complete, and then play the game, get to the point where you can test it, test it, exit the game, change, compile…now, since all of that can be done very quickly within the tools, it's ‘Make the change, play, when it compiles, finish, shoot the guy, and then escape, make the change, play.. the iteration time is down to 30 seconds instead of 15 minutes. Our ability to kind of roll through and see how the game is playing out is much faster."

http://kotaku.com/5916859/how-unreal-engine-4-will-change-the-next-games-you-play

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

Holy mother of Miyamoto--Unity just announced Unity 5 with physically-based shading!

What the hell's happening lately with the game engine developers?!

Boys, we've got ourselves a good ol' fashioned engine war!

*writer grabs his cowboy hat and keyboard*

Micropixel
Micropixel

CryEngine has always been my favorite. $9.90 per month? This is a no-brainer.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Contrary to what many are saying I see indie games as saving gaming. The direction gaming was going until very recently (I would say the introduction of Steam and other open platforms changed everything) was that power was being concentrated at the top. Only a few had the resources and budget. And worse yet they couldn't take chances, because they themselves were under pressure/constraints. 

This move by Epic and Crytek blows the doors open. The indie of today will be the AAA of tomorrow. There is no need for the middleman Publishers like EA anymore. You will have to produce good games that are aimed directly at what the community want - namely, single player campaigns, not only multiplayer, and good quality products. The user wants control and the developers will have to provide it. EA is all about taking control away from the user, Activision as well. Their days are numbered if they continue. We as gamers will have plenty of alternatives because of indies. It's a beautiful thing.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Cryengine or Unreal hmmm?

Fabian85
Fabian85

What engine is most easy to develop for ue4 or cryengine?

adwerk
adwerk


@ashybloodUDK still require a license for commercial work afaik, thats how its always been.


You could stop your sub for UE4 and re-sub near then end of your project/game, but you'll be stuck with the same build and no support. The lastest release is much more stable, and I would hate missing out on that and new features for a mere 19 bucks a month.

zacrupnow
zacrupnow

@kitsudragon  "the developer is charged $10 per month for every user who uses their product" No, they only charge $10 per month per PC to use the Dev kit, you could make 100 games with a million players each and you pay only $10 per month for each PC you as a developer use the SDK on. And of course there might be partnership rules with Crytek in the terms an conditions that say "_blank_ percent of revenue from your release is share with us if you charge money for that release." 

onefai
onefai

@kitsudragon  Either I am confused or you are even more confused. The 10 dollars monthly fee of CryEngine is per developer (or per license), not gamer. Why would CryEngine charge the company 10 dollars per gamer?

srimasis
srimasis

@kitsudragon Where it is written that cryengine will take 66% of the revenue?? I can clearly see that under the cryengine subscription model, it will be royalty free.

by-passer
by-passer

@kitsudragon Please go re-read the passage again. Clearly you failed reading comprehension in school... And the comparison is simple, no need to give such a longwinded example... it is just subscription + royalty fee comparison...

by-passer
by-passer

@MN121MN Next contestant? Wait for another few years. Right now, these 3 major licensed game engine companies are all we have. I doubt game companies would be willing to release their in-house engines...

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

@MN121MN   hmmmmm UE4....CryE 4....Round One...FIGHT!!!! this could get epic to the point even pc won't run them XD...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@GSGuy321  

That would be splendid if Unreal Engine 4 can give such short down-times.

by-passer
by-passer

@MacroManJr Why? Because indie developers are on the rise, and they will use one engine or another (or develop their own engine). So rather than charging high royalty fee for their engines which only the minority developers can use, why not charge at low price, and achieve market dominance before anyone else can?

And if you evaluate the no. of indie developers that have achieved widespread success (because the fact is many just produce shit products), these engine companies are actually making a profit in the long run. Very long run though.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

@MacroManJr  

You got that right. It's been almost a decade since I've seen engine competition this fierce. And today it's productivity and UX for developers driving the advancements over raw graphical power: an attitude toward development tools that has been LONG overdue.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

My studio's still going with Unreal Engine 4, though.  Best offering for our needs.  But it's nice to keep other options around.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@GSGuy321  Not only do I think indie gaming is saving the gaming industry, but I also think small businesses in general are the future of most other industries as well.  The days of the giant companies are crumbling to their own weight and lack of innovation, hurting global economies worldwide.

I think entrepreneur spirit will HAVE to come back, in general--our entertainment included--and modern accessibility of newer technology and community-funded means of financial support are gradually making it happen more and more.  We generally don't need no stankin' big suits anymore.

We'll support ourselves more with smaller local businesses supporting each other with networking, in much the same way some species of ants support each other as a bunch when floating on water.  A grand network of smaller businesses, where major corporations are the minority.  May we get there rather sooner than later.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@DEATH775  As a game developer: Source code included (Unreal Engine 4) or no source code included (CryENGINE 3)?  Hmmm...  lol

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Fabian85  That depends on where you are as a developer.  For beginners, neither engine's going to be particularly "easy."  For more experienced developers, both engines are pretty much capable of the same things, and it's a toss-up merely between what you need for your development team.

UE4 has a more user-friendly and simpler UI, as in artists and coders alike can use it.  CryENGINE uses a more traditional menu-window user interface, but with so many menus, the UI can be a bit daunting to search through, and sometimes buried features can be a hunt.

CryENGINE has a straightforward terrain system that uses traditional resolution sizes (1024 x 1024, 2048 x 2048, etc).  UE4 uses a more unique terrain system that utilizes Unreal's own standard resolution sizes (1009 x 1009, 2017 x 2017, etc.).

UE4 allows you to edit the game and modify code while it runs.  To my knowledge and experience, CryENGINE doesn't and requires you to build the scene before playing it.

CryENGINE arguably has the stronger world-editing features, where you can layout everything from the roads, to the detail objects such as rocks and trees, as well as some of the best-looking water of any game engine.  UE4 has similar world-editing features, but I think such is a little more straightforward in CryENGINE.

Both engines support physically-based shading, destructible environments, dynamic particles, LOD support, etc., so they're about even there.  I will say that I think UE4's new particle system seems a bit stronger than CryENGINE's implementation of such, as Epic Games REALLY optimized their particles system.  Better particles was one of their highest focus.

Both engines have a free counterpart you can try before investing into their subscription plans.  Unreal still has UDK, which is based on UE3 and is still free for non-commercial development (and while UE4 is a major improvement from UE3, much of it is still pretty similar to UE3).  CryTek still has the CryENGINE 3 SDK for free non-commercial development, which is CryENGINE 3 technology.  Try both out to see which you or your team feels more comfortable with using.

Unreal Engine has perhaps a bigger range in their forums, but CryENGINE has a noticeably friendlier forum.

Both engines support network development (having a team develop via online network), but I think Unreal Engine 4 has the slight edge in using Perforce and GitHub.

Though, I will say that their licenses are something to consider as well.  CryENGINE is no royalties but a $9.90/month per-person license.  UE4 is $19/month with 5% royalties on sales, but apparently one license for the whole team.

It depends on the more minute needs with your dev team, because both engines are pretty neck-and-neck overall.  You'll have to weigh them out for yourself, because this isn't really something for one to more objectively claim "such and such is easier."  With such similar powerful features with both engines, It depends on what you're more comfortable using, really.

Tangsta03
Tangsta03

@robotten75957 @gdeveloper2014 True. If Cryengine does everything you need it to do, it's definitely the better option in the long run. Crytek has lowered the financial costs specifically because they know what their engine lacks vs UE4.

igorphoenix
igorphoenix

@onefai @kitsudragon  They don't, of course it's $10 per user of engine itself, not the game. Actually things looks too good to be true - one of the most advanced engines for $10/month royalty free plus mobile support... I'm excited to say the least.

Gordon_Shock
Gordon_Shock

@MacroManJr I'll admit that for consoles the lack of big distributors might hurt them in the short run but for PC, as it is now would the disappearance of the big ones overnight could be such a big loss? There's plenty of ways for third party devs to get their game out to us. You'll see that in this cycle big devs will think twice before signing on with a distributors, why pay a middle man when Sony, MS and Steam can digitally deliver it for free...

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

How silly of me! I forgot the biggest difference between Unreal Engine 4 and CryENGINE 3:

UE4 gives developers the full source code, which is powerful to developers who have a good programming side.  This literally gives dev teams complete reign over the engine and allows for customizing new features yourself.

There has yet been any word of such with CryENGINE 3's offering.  Though, CryENGINE 3 does support C++ coding to some extent, and I get the feeling that for most indie developers, even without access to the source code, this still offers plenty.

(Also, Unreal Engine 4 uses Blueprint visual scripting, while CryENGINE 3 supports Lua scripting.  They both lack Python support, which is a strong choice in scripting language, but at least Unreal allows access to the C++ source code and CryENGINE supports some C++ coding.)

Fabian85
Fabian85

Thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed response. Ive downloaded the free cryengine version yesterday to start practicing with. Im an auditor so i dont really have any game making experience just a truly great idea for concept, setting, mission level design and dialogoue i will start working on as a hobby project.

Darknight765
Darknight765

The biggest problem with unreal is the fact that all asset you make have to conform to their standards. Cry engine and unity are practically drag and drop while unreal has strict constraints on what it will accept. Unreal is just the standard like MS is for OS, but it blows if you aren't making your assets with unreal in mind. Spent quite a few days reworking character models and texture so I could import them on unreal. No fun at all.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Darknight765  His question, though, is how is Unreal Engine 4 to develop for, and for good reason: Unreal Engine 4 addresses many of the issues that made Unreal Engine 3 quite complicated to use for development.

by-passer
by-passer

@Gordon_Shock @MacroManJr Sony, MS and Steam distribute for free? Stop yanking my leg... Nothing is free, especially in the coporate world and between companies...

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@GSGuy321 @MacroManJr @Gordon_Shock  Well, true, you'll have a lot more teams not needing Kickstarter for things like the tools, but you'll probably still see a lot of developers needing Kickstarter for things like funding the developers while they develop full-time.

The bulk of most Kickstarter campaigns is paying for the time to develop the game, not so much the tools (which is a much smaller percentage of the budget).  It also accounts for things like console licensing fees, hiring musicians and voice actors, and translating the game into other languages--stuff that's hard to cover out-of-pocket.

Though, I think what we need to see is more developers showing at least a working demo or work-in-progress, rather than just a bunch of concept art.  Kickstarter's not a bad idea--it just need better developers to use it better for better games.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@MacroManJr @Gordon_Shock And furthermore this will make indie devs less reliant on Kickstarter, which is a another plus imo. Steam Early Access is something a little different, more of a beta testing system, so I don't see it diminishing. But Kickstarter, it will not be needed as much. You can have an engine like UE4 at $19/month, incl. full source code. That's peanuts!

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Gordon_Shock @MacroManJr  If the standard keeps rising among AAA indie development, consoles won't miss big distributors.

If anything, indie development HELPS console companies, because smaller indie games tend to get out out sooner, which help in tie gamers over in the meantime while they wait for bigger developments, which are seeing longer dev time these day.  Console companies can use indie companies in much a similar way they use second-party studios, but for a lot less money.

We're also seeing indie developers up their game in terms of game quality. People are starting to expect ambitious titles out of indie development now, instead of merely just giving every tiny "retro" game the pass merely because it's "indie."

While such humbler indie titles will always have its niche, people now expect to see more "AAA" indie titles such as Rust, Minecraft, Star Citizen and Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

The best of the indie devs push themselves as the technology becomes more available, and boy, does it pay off big for them.  This move is so big, you're now seeing veteran developers going rogue by leaving the major industry and starting their own AAA indie companies, names like Richard Garriott to Keiji Inafune.

AAA indie development is becoming the perfect middle option.  Funny enough, it's been something I've been chasing for six years now--I soooo uprising saw this coming.  I just didn't have such powerful tools so widely available with indie-friendly licenses then.  Now, there's no stopping me.

(And no, Unity doesn't count.  I have a serious love-hate relationship with Unity.  lol)

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@joalopes @MacroManJr I have some serious corrections I need to make here.

I am now a licensed Unreal Engine 4 developer, and a few things are different than what I claimed:

1) Unreal Engine 4 is per-person (that is, per seat) license--not one license for the whole team.  So, each person on your team will need their own license.

The engine is launched by a client that's assigned to a single user's account.  The source I got my previous claim from was wrong and the Epic Games website isn't exactly clear on this (you'd think this would be in their FAQ).

2) Unreal Engine 4 now uses .png and .raw/.r16 files for heightmaps.  It seems like their proprietary G16 .bmp heightmap file format from previous Unreal Engines is gone with Unreal Engine 4.

3) Unreal Engine 4's community is noticeably friendly than the UDK community has been.  The forums are helpful and friendly.  Epic Games themselves have made a visible effort to keep them friendly and helpful.

The engine's developers themselves seem to answer people's questions during livestream sessions on Twitch and they release new videos frequently.  For instance, I directly spoke with someone who ensured me that a PayPal payment option was in the works.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@joalopes @MacroManJr  I feel like I'm an athlete on SportsCenter, answering interviewers after a game.  lol  ;)

I would say that Unreal Engine 4 is pretty capable of photo-realistic environments.

Do I think that anything that can be done in CryENGINE can be done in UE4.  Yep.  But we'll have to see developers get more comfortable with the engine."

Unreal Engine introduces the physically-based shading, improved lighting (such as real-time Global Illumination), full-scene HDR reflections, and improved subsurface scattering--key components to CryENGINE's realism--that pretty much anything CryENGINE 3 can do, so can UE4.


What's more, with the UE4 giving developers the source code, developers are more than free to provide their own algorithms if they wish.  UE4 is also still growing with development.

Would I consider UE4 a "better, more technically-advanced" game engine than CryENGINE 3?

It's hard to say whether it's more "technically-advanced" than CryENGINE 3.

I would say that UE4 has some strong improvements and it might have a slight edge over CryENGINE 3 with certain aspects such as particles and post processing effects.

I think Unreal Engine 4 has a cleaner and friendlier user interface, user-friendly to both artists and coders alike.  Just right-click in the editor and any node or function code is right there at your hand.

CryENGINE 3 uses a traditional menu system, but sometimes it can present so many large list-style menus on-screen at once, it can be a bit of a task to scroll through menus.

But CryENGINE's a lot less fussier about file formats than Unreal tends to be.  You can use a .raw, .bmp. or .pgm heightmap in CryENGINE, while you need a proprietary G16 BMP heightmap for Unreal.

But, again, "better" comes down to your needs.

joalopes
joalopes

@MacroManJr  A few questions Macro. I've been following both engines over the years and up until UE4, it always seemed to be that Cryengine was better at portraying outdoor environments and at achieving a more photo realistic look. UE4 seems to improve in both areas. Chris Roberts from "Star Citizen" actually mentioned that a big part of the reason why they went with Cryengine instead of UE was because Cryengine was better at achieving that photo realistic look. So question is, Has that changed with UE4?  Also, would you now consider UE4  a better, more technical advanced engine than Cryengine? And lastly, UE4 is a relatively new comer with games yet to be released. On the other hand games like Ryse were developed on the latest Cryengine.Given that the current Cryengine seems to be pretty good at competing with UE4 do you think Crytek will release a Cryengine 4th generation this year that could surpass UE4 capabilities?

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Darknight765  If you're using Max or Maya, assets into recent builds of Unreal Engine are more straightforward now, via FBX format, so you're not stuck relying on older Unreal proprietary formats.  Though, I will agree that things are still much more proprietary with Unreal Engine, such as needing a G16 heightmap for terrains.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@GSGuy321 @MacroManJr  Yeah, that's what I mean when I said, "UE4 allows you to edit the game and modify code while it runs."  ;)