Amazon Game Studios ‘struggling with Lumberyard engine’

Company reportedly considering turning to third-party software to aid development

Amazon may countenance its game development studios using third-party engines to bring games to market following reported struggles with its proprietary Lumberyard software.

Following a recent round of layoffs, and unconfirmed reports of further project cancellations, Amazon developers have claimed that Lumberyard is central to the company’s failure to launch a hit game.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Lumberyard wasn’t built for the kind of multiplayer titles Amazon wanted to make, and the team responsible for the engine has struggled to adapt it successfully.

They compared working on “sport brawler” Breakaway, which was announced in September 2016 and subsequently cancelled, to driving a train while the track was still being built.

“They’re still ironing out the kinks of what it means to own and maintain your own engine,” said a developer currently working at Amazon Game Studios.

Based on Crytek’s CryEngine, Lumberyard was released as a free development engine in 2016, promising “frictionless integration” with Twitch and cloud platform Amazon Web Services.

The only first-party Lumberyard title released to date is 2019’s poorly received The Grand Tour Game for PS4 and Xbox One.

Confirming a round of layoffs last week, which reportedly numbered several dozen, Amazon said it was reorganising some of its teams to prioritise development of sandbox MMO New World, third-person survival shooter Crucible and “new unannounced projects”.