In a surprise move, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced its game engine Lumberyard.
Labelled as a "blend of new and proven technologies from CryEngine, the Amazon-owned Double Helix, and AWS", Lumberyard is initially available for PC and console development, with mobile and VR support to follow in a couple of months.
However, what's most significant about the move is the integration of backend services and support for the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform.
All about online
The backend piece comes in the shape of Amazon Gamelift.
This is a highly scalable server platform for session-based multiplayer games.
The Twitch integration include Twitch ChatPlay, which enables you to build games that respond to keywords in a Twitch chat stream, and TwitchJoin, which allows a broadcaster to invite a member of the audience into to the game from within the chat channel.
Amazon Lumberyard is currently in beta, and will be free, including source code, although Amazon Gamelift has a per-player fee of $1.50 per 1,000 DAUs. Of course, the usual AWS fees otherwise apply.
You can find out more on the Lumberyard website.