Star Citizen Drops CryEngine Four Years Into Development for Amazon Lumberyard

Roberts Space Industries has announced a somewhat bizarre new development for their long-running, crowd-funded space simulator Star Citizen.

The game will drop Crytek’s CryEngine (following the news that company isn’t doing too hot) in favor of Amazon’s Lumberyard engine. This means they’ve taken a considerable amount of time simply rebuilding the game in an entirely new engine – four years into development.

“We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” said Star Citizen creative lead and studio head Chris Roberts.

“Lumberyard provides groundbreaking technology features for online games. Because we share a common technical vision, it has been a very smooth and easy transition to Lumberyard.”

It’s worth mentioning Lumberyard is based on the architecture of CryEngine, while also giving developers access to Amazon’s various Web Services and even build or host their games on Amazon’s servers. There’s also built-in support for livestreaming via Twitch, which Amazon also owns now.

Despite the aforementioned news that Crytek has shuttered five of their international studios, Roberts previously stated this would not affect their work on Star Citizen.

The entire project has been expanded to include other projects like Star Marine, a massively multiplayer shooter set within a persistent universe, parallel to Star Citizen. Some of the various game modules and models are currently playable and ready to buy, which continues to fund the entire project.

With no release date in sight and continual development expansion of the game, it remains to be seen when we’ll see the full launch of Star Citizen, which remains the single-most crowd-funded video game in history.

, , ,
Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

Comment Policy: Read our comment policy and guidelines before commenting.
  1. Mark
    December 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    It’s over

  2. Malcolm_Ecks
    December 24, 2016 at 8:18 pm


  3. Random Marine
    Random Marine
    December 24, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    They gave a public test today, still looks and plays like the “old” one. Shit, full of clipping and lag, low FPS even on low settings.
    Star Marine is fun tho.
    But it seems that this Lumberyard Engine is an updated, “improved” custom version of the CryEngine so its probably not that big of a deal. IT shows that the game is very, very very early in development even after 4 years of it. Which is a shame because this game had potential.

  4. sanic
    December 24, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I wonder if anyone still believe this will properly come out

  5. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    December 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    This game is an even bigger meme than No Man’s Sky.

  6. Maria Maasaa
    Maria Maasaa
    December 24, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    No Man’s Sky is about to become a footnote

  7. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 24, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    no mans sky is still the ONLY game that you can pilot a spaceship and seamlessly land on a planet

  8. Espio419
    December 24, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I can’t believe people still haven’t figured out this “game” is a ponzi scheme.

  9. 2501
    December 24, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    It’s taking 4+ years because they are trying to shove so much shit into one project without focusing on what’s necessary for SC to succeed as a playable game.

  10. 2501
    December 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    too bad the planets are a devoid of anything fun or interesting.

  11. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    December 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Maybe if they actually built a half-decent game around it…

  12. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    well i havn’t played it so i wouldn’t know
    have you?

  13. 2501
    December 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Yep, I bought it as a birthday gift for my roommate who was pretty hyped for it. Played it for like a week, now the game’s disc is used as a drinks coaster.. literary

  14. vonSanneck
    December 24, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Changing the engine mid development never went well.

  15. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 24, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    if you played it for a week then you already got the fun out of it

  16. 2501
    December 24, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    There’s not much to say about the “fun” in that game, you travel to a colour-swap planet to go to another colour-swap planet on loop. There’s no variation or joy of exploration, the game loses that element to surprise you really quick.

  17. Eldhin Hellknight
    Eldhin Hellknight
    December 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Well, if its based on CryEngine, it could be good. Specially because Amazon has a good web platform and services.

  18. fnd
    December 24, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    You mean low FPS on high settings right? Not really interested in this game since i don’t have futureproff PC

  19. Neojames82
    December 24, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Here we go….just like Duke Nukem Forever….

  20. Morlab
    December 24, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Sorry, but Elite did that crap back in the 80’s, nice try though.

  21. AnarKreig
    December 25, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Just release the game already. I’ve been standing by with my popcorn and want to see all the tears of the idiots that backed this game. I mean, com’n! -Everything- about this project has been fishy and raising red flags.

  22. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 25, 2016 at 12:18 am

    nice 3d graphics you have there champ

  23. Stilzkin
    December 25, 2016 at 3:36 am

    I remember being excited for this.


  24. Floreum
    December 25, 2016 at 5:13 am

    “rebuilding the game in an entirely new engine” is an over statement. Amazon Lumberyard IS CryEngine with Amazon’s cloud and twitch services bundled up into it. It’s not new, not by a long shot. There’s very minor differences, 99.8% of Lumberyard is CryEngine, so bringing the engine over isn’t gonna be the same as going from say CryEngine to Unreal 4. It’s gonna be much simpler, but will still waste some considerable time.

  25. 3rdStrike_Ebi
    December 25, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Star Citizen, I would argue, is about ten years too early to meet the creators’ ambition. The sheer scope of what they want to achieve is ridiculous, and I doubt whether or not current technology and attitudes & design choices can match that.

  26. sdmblack
    December 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Elite Dangerous came out years ago, and it’s not even the only one.

  27. sdmblack
    December 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Moving the goalposts

  28. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

    how to spot a person who’s never played elite dangerous : the post

  29. Grayares Fakcot
    Grayares Fakcot
    December 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

    eat shit

  30. Godmars
    December 25, 2016 at 11:58 am

    All I hear is that they’re dropping CryEngine for a CryEngine derivative so they’re effectively still using CryEngine. In otherowrds nothing.

  31. porkbun
    December 25, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    This and mighty no9 have completely turned me off from crowdfunding. 60 bucks down the drain…

  32. BeakieHelmet
    December 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    This article is hot garbage.

    For one, Lumberyard and StarEngine (Star Citizen’s custom cryengine variant, which they are not abandoning) are based on the same fork of cryengine. There was no time spent transferring files over, everything works with lumberyard’s functions within StarEngine natively.

    If any time at all was spent, it was the past 20 days and nothing more as that was when the deal was finalized between Amazon and RSI, and we already see lumberyard implemented.

    This part of the article shows just how badly the author does not understand the project in the least:

    “The entire project has been expanded to include other projects like Star
    Marine, a massively multiplayer shooter set within a persistent
    universe, parallel to Star Citizen. ”

    Star Marine is NOT a massively multiplayer online shooter, it’s literally a small team deathmatch mode within Star Citizen and little more. Star Citizen is the persistent universe with all the pieces together.

    The focus on Crytek seems to imply RSI and Crytek are somehow related. They are not. RSI bought full rights to the engine and are not funded by or effected by crytek whatsoever.

    I honestly expect better of nichegamer.

  33. Sevuz
    December 25, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I know a few backers that are pissed they didn’t stick to their original promise. They just keep adding new stuff all the time. They could have offered all this later on in a BIG update. BUT NOPE -__-‘

  34. catazxy
    December 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Give me the biggest and most expensive ship you have!

  35. sdmblack
    December 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    So you’re saying you can’t seamlessly fly down to a planet in Elite? Is that actually what you’re saying?

  36. Crizzyeyes
    December 25, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Elite Dangerous blows and I feel bad that a friend gifted it to me for a previous Christmas. When I found out the recommended way of getting started in that game is flying from solar system to solar system flying planets while occasionally dying to pirates that have better equipment than you, I lost all interest.

  37. Crizzyeyes
    December 25, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Who even cares? This game is clearly vaporware. I mean, I know you have buyer’s remorse, but Christ, learn to recognize a DNF when you see one. $20,000 coffee machines.

  38. Nagato
    December 25, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    “I honestly expect better of nichegamer.”

    Perhaps they’re simply catering to the irrational hatred (fear?) a good part of their audience has of PC exclusives that aren’t “just indies” and the niche of the niche, but now bigger budget productions that get widely-reported on as well.

  39. Neojames82
    December 25, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Sounds like someone with backer’s remorse.

  40. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    December 25, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    The next No Man’s Sky.

    Instead of learning from their mistake, fanboys latch on to a completely new project. How sad.

  41. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    December 25, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    “Understand the project in the least.”

    It’s pretty clear at this stage that the game is probably going to shape up to be one of the biggest disasters in recent memory due all of it’s problems.

  42. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    December 25, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t get what’s with sci-fi fans and buying into this whole cult like mentality of “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.”

    It happened with NMS, and it’ll happen again with this.

  43. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    December 26, 2016 at 12:09 am

    It’s a general problem for all open world type games, not just sci-fi, just look at The Elder Scrolls. But at least those other games have a lot of actual content, NMS is just the same shit on every planet.

  44. Mr0303
    December 26, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Feature Creep: The Game is now changing engines. Brilliant.

  45. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    December 26, 2016 at 10:32 am

    That’s why I don’t count them. I know people have problems with Bethesda overhyping their crap, but it is NOT the same thing as to what NMS and Star Citizen are doing.

  46. Random Marine
    Random Marine
    December 27, 2016 at 7:40 am

    low fps on low settings……well, idk really know if changing the setting affects anything since theres no visual difference in it…the graphics still the same.

  47. Random Marine
    Random Marine
    January 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    WEll, since there’s no difference changing the settings….i guess so….i was playing on “low”

  48. William Mayers
    William Mayers
    February 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    No, it’s not the only one, Orbiter allows it smart guy :P