Amazon announces its own game engine with built-in Twitch support

The new "Amazon Lumberyard" is described as a "full-featured" engine for big and small games alike.

Online retailer Amazon continues its push into gaming today with the announcement of Amazon Lumberyard. It's a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine that the company says is capable of delivering the "highest quality games," featuring "beautiful worlds, realistic characters, and stunning real-time effects."

Lumberyard wasn't the only new gaming tool that Amazon announced today. The company also revealed Amazon GameLift, a program for Lumberyard that aims to allow developers to increase the scale and performance of their online multiplayer games "without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs."

The Lumberyard engine launches today in beta form for PC and console developers. Support for unspecified mobile and virtual reality platforms will come later, the company said.

As you might have assumed, Lumberyard features native Twitch support. Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014 for $1 billion.

The engine also includes a "full-featured editor" and "hundreds" of other elements including cloth physics, character and animation editors, audio tools, weather effects, and vehicle systems. Amazon also noted that Lumberyard developers get full access to the engine's source code.

Lumberyard isn't completely free, however, as developers will need to pay the regular Amazon Web Services fee to use it. For GameLift, there is a "small per-player fee" as well that comes out to $1.50 for 1,000 daily active users.

You can check out the announcement video above to learn more about Lumberyard and the developers currently using it.

"By starting game projects with Amazon Lumberyard, developers are able to spend more of their time creating differentiated gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building game engine components and managing server infrastructure," Amazon said. "And, with Amazon GameLift, developers can be sure that on day one, their live, multiplayer games can scale to support millions of players, while maintaining the high performance gamers expect."

In other Amazon gaming news, the company acquired Double Helix Games at the start of 2014. Last summer, a number of key staffers departed from the Amazon Game Studios, the company's internal division dedicated to gaming.

For more on Lumberyard and GameLift, check out the links below.

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