This past year has been difficult for German developer Crytek in more ways than one. Their financial difficulties resulted in the cancellation of high profile projects such as Ryse 2 and also forced them to sell Homefront: The Revolution to Deep Silver. Then there were reports of large amounts of staff members refusing to work due to wage disputes. For all intents and purposes, it seemed that Crytek was about to experience a forced leave from the gaming industry.
Amazon has reportedly licensed Crytek's popular game engine, CryEngine 3, for a figure falling somewhere between $50 to $70 million. Thanks to this hefty deal, Crytek has been able to resolve its numerous financial issues.
Crytek should now be able to continue supporting its free-to-play online multiplayer FPS Warface without any financial worries. Moreover, development of their free-to-play MOBA Arena of Fate as well as their co-op third-person horror game (also free-to-play) Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age should now be much smoother sailing thanks to this lucrative licensing deal with Amazon.
Amazon's interest in CryEngine 3 is not surprising, as the engine has proven to be a very popular tool with developers as of late. Crytek themselves have used it with some of their biggest projects, including the last two games in the Crysis series and Ryse: Son of Rome.
It has been licensed for use by others in the industry as well, as the engine powered State of Decay for Undead Labs, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Sega, and the recent release, Evolve for Turtle Rock Studios.
In the future, CryEngine 3 will be used as the engine for a number of gaming projects, including BattleCry, which is being published by Bethesda. In addition, the highly ambitious science-fiction epic, Star Citizen has been created using CryEngine 3, a game that has set crowdfunding records, earning well over $75 million in funding at this point.
As for what Amazon plans to do with CryEngine 3, that much is currently unknown. Potentially, they could use CryEngine 3 to continue developing games for their Android-powered devices. There is also a rumor that Amazon plans on using CryEngine 3 as a baseline for a brand new gaming engine that they can call their own.
This is not the first time Amazon has stepped into the world of video gaming. Besides being one of the largest online distributors of video games, Amazon has began developing its own games for its Android-based Fire TV systems. They also purchased the mammoth game-streaming service Twitch for $970 million less than a year ago as well as acquired the developers of the Xbox One Killer Instinct reboot, Double Helix Games.
With this CryEngine 3 licensing deal with Crytek, it appears that Amazon's foray into the gaming industry is just getting started.