Amazon makes its Lumberyard game engine open source, and it’s already supported by 20 companies


Is it possible that Unity and Unreal Engine have a new contender? The potential is there as Amazon has elected to make its Lumberyard 3-D game engine open source. The engine is now known as the Open 3D Engine, and it already has the backing of 20 companies including Niantic, Huawei, Amazon Web Services, and Apocalypse Studios, which is owned by veteran games dev Denis Dyack. The open source engine project will be overseen by the Linux Foundation.

This new open source form of Lumberyard is said to have a wide variety of benefits including a new front-end interface that makes it easy to use, a new renderer called the Atom Renderer, and the ability to create cross-platform games that work on PC, mobile, and console titles, all while being royalty-free. Devs who are already building on Lumberyard will still continue to receive support from Amazon, but Eric Morales, director of AWS game tech, has stated that Open 3D Engine is where new features will be heading. The engine itself is further described on its website as being capable of crafting “AAA games, cinema-quality 3D worlds, and high-fidelity simulations.”

For those who are curious about fiddling with this new engine, it has a dedicated website with various articles, while the engine itself is available on GitHub.

sources: VentureBeat, Open 3D Engine website, thanks to JWillo for the tip!

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Jack Pipsam

Lumberyard is just a fork of CryEngine, although I have no idea if AWS stuff aside how much of a benefit Lumberyard really is compared to the latest version of pure CryEngine as really you I imagine if you know what you’re doing you could plug AWS into GameMaker if you wanted.

John Kiser

I find this odd, but it is what it is.

Ardra Diva

I’ve read many comments about how game devs aren’t completely satisfied with Lumberyard so to me this may be kind of a ‘last ditch’ effort to establish it – make it free. Perhaps it will succeed.


Certainly building an open source community around it will give those developers every reason to improve the parts they aren’t satisfied with. I think generally the same sentiment has been true of Unity, and to a lesser extent Unreal, with less ability to improve than an open source community gives you


Depending on what you’re doing you’ll have a problem with any software game engine requiring you to make your own modifications or add to some functionality. Nothing’s perfect.

And given it’s been branched off the Crytech game engine; I don’t think you can say it’s not a very established game engine either at this point. I’m sure if Crytech hadn’t already made their engine open source; they probably wouldn’t be too happy about this.

Vanquesse V

My understanding of Lumberyard was that it’s set up to be very easy to hook up to AWS and that getting more games to use AWS was the way they were planning on making money on Lumberyard. Later they added twitch and twitch chatPlay support.
They then realized that maintaining an engine is much more work than expected (this part wouldn’t surprise me at all if you look at amazon’s success rate for their big gaming push) and open source it instead of giving up.
At this point they can be more hands off on everything except making sure the AWS integration is top notch.

Ardra Diva

that sounds very plausible to me, thank you for your insight.