Game developer Crytek has entered into a deal with Amazon, according to a report from Kotaku.
Crytek had been hinting previously that it was working on a huge partnership, and if the anonymous sources are on the money, then huge might just be an understatement. It doesn’t get much bigger than Amazon.
The sources indicate that the deal is for somewhere between $50 and $70 million, enough to keep just about any studio outside of EA and Ubisoft in business for a while. The money comes from, apparently, a huge licensing deal for Crytek’s CryEngine software. While Unreal and Unity are certainly quite popular, Crytek’s engine has always been a leader in pushing visual fidelity forward.
The Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome was the best looking game on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4 at launch and remains a stunner (even if it’s an okay game at best), and Crysis games remain a benchmark of sorts for powerful PCs. One of the more recent titles to make use of the engine was this winter’s asymmetrical multiplayer shooter, Evolve.
We know Amazon is getting into games. It acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix about 15 months ago, and platforms like Amazon’s Fire tablets are giving it a solid point of entry into mobile markets. As Kotaku notes, the retailer also picked up Clint Hocking of Far Cry 2 fame and Portal lead Kim Swift.
Right now, it’s hard to tell exactly what Amazon plans to do with the CryEngine technology. CryEngine is usually for pushing hardware, not fitting into mobile spaces. Is Amazon going to open up a studio to make games for Microsoft and Sony consoles? Is it going to put out its own set-top box with serious gaming horsepower? Or is the toolset going to applied to something else entirely? Amazon experimented with some 3D mapping stuff with the Fire phone, so high end experimental apps aren’t out of the question.
Amazon is getting into gaming in a big way, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens from here.