Middleware companies like Epic, Crytek, Unity are offering their tools, essentially, game engines, for free.

Crytek, for example, never had distributed their engine for free before, but started doing that too.

What are the reasons behind this decision, in case of Crytek?

Amazon with Lumberyard going to get profits from offering their network and cloud services, essential infrastructure for online and multi-player games.

But how is Crytek going to make a profit?

  • \$\begingroup\$ For those who minus, how can I improve my question? \$\endgroup\$ – PaulD Aug 13 '16 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem us, how do we know what Cryteks CEOs are specifically thinking? We can generalise, but can not give a good absolute answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Aug 13 '16 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because is asking for speculation on business decisions. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Aug 14 '16 at 15:05

The typical business model for companies that offer a tool for free, whether it is open-source or not, is that they sell support services for customers.

Crytek does not seem to deviate much from that by looking at their website.

Additional ways Crytek can be making money out of their free tool:

  • They have a 'pay what you want' feature
  • They might have a deal with Amazon, and they get paid a royalty when a user use Amazon's services

Another strategy in this case is to gain enough momentum with their engine to eventually release a "Pro" version which has additional features and ask the users to pay for it, just like every other engines.

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