Amazon offers the Lumberyard game engine as open-source and will now be known as the Open 3D Engine.
The Linux Foundation will oversee the project and will also create the Open 3D Foundation to accelerate collaboration with game developers by developing the AAA game engine. Leading game developers such as Denis Dyack and Apocalypse Studios are participating in the project, which has more than 20 founding members, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Adobe, Huawei, Niantic, and Red Hat. The open-source engine will allow developers to create royalty-free 3D games and simulations, giving game and application companies some edge over commercial game engines from Unity Technologies and Epic Games.
The Open 3D Foundation will support open source projects that develop skills in creating, writing, and developing 3D graphics. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is contributing an updated version of the Amazon Lumberyard game engine as the Open 3D Engine (O3DE) under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.
Denis Dyack said:
“This is the evolution of where engines need to be going as we’re getting into the metaspace and into the cloud space. It is a completely open-source engine, where your goal is to have many people contribute to it and be a resource for the entire industry to use. They want to use it completely open and completely free. And it’s a watershed mark in the industry because nothing like this has ever happened before, at least in the video game industry.”
Chris Aniszczyk, Chief Technology Officer of The Linux Foundation, commented:
“We’ve seen that open source is probably one of the major engines for innovation. Look at the Linux case. It started with one purpose. And people said, ‘I want to put it in a car. I want to put it in a phone, I want to be without any encumbrance around intellectual property concerns, no gatekeeping.’ When it comes to source code, it is freely available.”
While Amazon originally licensed Lumberyard from Crytek, the maker of CryEngine, the company rewrote the code from the ground up. Eric Morales, director of gaming technology at AWS, said it does not hold any intellectual property rights. Aniszczyk also confirmed that Open 3D Engine has built-in patent protection and is free from various hurdles.
When asked whether Amazon was sacrificing opportunities with the end of Lumberyard, Eric Morales, head of gaming technology at AWS, challenged the idea and said:
“AWS and Amazon have been leveraging open source for a long time. That’s why we’ve contributed so aggressively to it over the years. Our goal from the very beginning was to give developers the ability to do whatever they want from a technical standpoint. I really think the next phase of Open 3D Engine is to clean up the list in terms of licensing and say ‘Go build’.”