Frank Vitz of Crytek, took to the stage today at the CryEngine Media Briefing to lay out their plans for the future of the game engine. The biggest announcement of the briefing was CryEngine V, which will be the company’s way of moving into the virtual reality market and supporting those developers who wish to stick with their engine. On top of this, CryEngine V will support a ‘PWYW’ model (Pay-what-you-want) ensuring that indies can use their engine even if they can’t afford to do so.
This is fairly big news for Crytek, and the PWYW model is a smart move that puts CryEngine V in the hands of developers that otherwise would not be able to afford it. This could also mean more virtual reality games from indie developers. The $1 million indie game development fund also helps nudge indie developers forward. Crytek also announced that CryEngine will have its own virtual asset store called The Marketplace, which will be similar to Unity’s Asset Store. Containing both visual and aural assets, it will be available for developers to sell and purchase assets to use for the engine.
Crytek truly is doubling down on virtual reality, as CryEngine V will support virtually every VR platform from PlayStation VR to Oculus Rift to the HTC Vive. It will be Direct X 12 compatible and have many features that are focused on VR. To show CryEngine V off, Crytek demonstrated it in action with a new experience called Project Sky Harbor.
I for one am excited to see what comes out of developers using CryEngine V for their next project. I’m also just curious to see how the PWYW model works when other engines offer their services completely free. To celebrate the new engine though, Humble Bundle is helping get things started with an asset bundle for CryEngine users. So if you’re interested, now might be the time.