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Crytek reveals cheap CryEngine licensing plans

Cryek has revealed plans to offer a low-cost software development kit (SDK) for its CryEngine software to independent game developers - and is even mulling licensing the package free of charge.

The news came direct from company co-founder Avni Yerli during an interview with games industry magazine Develop, in which he revealed plans to support modders and the independent game development community with a specially developed SDK based around his company's CryEngine game engine.

"The mod community is very important to us," Yerli explained to the magazine, "and down the road will release a specific SDK for the mod community. We have a business model in mind for this - which I can’t get into details of right now - but it will be extremely user-friendly. The barriers for entry will be very low, and perhaps even for free."

Crytek's CryEngine is capable of impressive visuals on a range of systems, with the company's flagship title Crysis 2 being launched simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Access to the power of a game engine like CryEngine on a low-cost licensing model could prove extremely tempting for more accomplished modders and smaller game studios, and will likely help Crytek push its platform against rivals such as Epic's Unreal Engine and the popular Unity engine.

With increasing numbers of smaller game studios looking towards mobile gaming on iOS and Android, however, Crytek's offering lacks support for such platforms - and, as such, could lose out to Epic and Unity's mobile-friendly SDKs, even at a significant cost saving.