Making Games Just Got Cheaper: CryEngine Goes Freemium

Making Games Just Got Cheaper: CryEngine Goes Freemium

CryEngine, the next-gen video game engine behind Crysis, Far Cry and Ryse is moving to a “pay what you want” model in a bid to make game creation more accessible to cash-strapped coders. This grants users unrestricted access to the engine and source code for free. (In other words, you now have no excuse not to make that game you keep talking about.)

Following in the footsteps of chief rivals Unreal and Unity, Crytek has announced that its game engine will be dispensing with a monthly subscription model. Instead, indie developers can access the tools in CryEngine for a fee of their choosing, down to and including zero dollars.

The change coincides with the launch of CryEngine V, which has been optimised for virtual reality development. Crucially, users do not need to pay royalties or additional service charges for any games they make.

While there’s no obligation to pay, making a donation actually goes towards a good cause. As Crytek explains:

“Users who decide to make a contribution for utilising CryEngine V can allocate up to 70% of the sum to Crytek’s new Indie Development Fund — a grant program that will see Crytek directly supporting promising indie projects around the world.”

While access to the engine is free, you will be able to purchase individual assets from the newly launched CryEngine Marketplace which will include thousands of materials, sounds and 3D objects from the CryEngine community and Crytek’s own library.

To get devs started, the Humble Bundle is currently offering 20,000 asset files for as little as $1. Pay what you want for Plants & Shrubs, Trees, Environment Props, Prototyping Kit, Textures, Decals & Visual Effects, MoCap Animation Pack: Basic Military Rifle and FPS ‘Paintball’ Project.

Pay more than the average price to also receive an Audio Kit, Ryse Nature & Animal Pack, Vehicles Standard Edition, City Pack Standard Edition, Weapons Pack, Crytek Formula Racing: Starter Project, and Nexuiz. Pay $13 or more and you’ll also get Illfonic Survival: Starter Project, Ryse World Building Pack, Ryse Roman Pack, Vehicles High Quality, City Pack High Quality and Characters & Animals.

As always, you can choose who gets the lion’s share of your money: the developers or the nominated charity. Click here to make your donation.

To make games using CryEngine, the recommended minimum system requirements are as follows:

OS Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (64-bit)
Processor Intel Quad-Core (i5 2300) or AMD Octo-Core (FX 8150)
Memory 8 GB RAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 660Ti or higher, AMD Radeon HD 7950 or higher
DirectX Version 11
HDD 8 GB available space
Sound card DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers

To get started, head to Crytek’s website and download CryEngine V.


  • Asking as a complete outsider to coding and game-making, is this all you need to make a game from 0? i.e. it has a 3D modelling software, a language that you have to learn, etc?

    • Yes, but the engine is aimed at professionals so there’s not much hand-holding within the application. However, Crytek does have some tutorials on its website.

    • It uses Lua as its internal scripting language. There are a billion websites that will teach you about that.

      I had a look at one of their tutorial videos last night and that set up a basic triggered event without any code at all. It looks like the GUI is comprehensive and robust enough to handle a lot of that work for you.

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