Now it's Valve's turn to toss their hat in the free game engine ring (Source 2)

It looks like we’re going to be seeing quite a showdown between the big game engine vendors this year, Source 2 vs. Unity 5 vs. UE4.

Now if we see Autodesk creating a free version of Stingray, then it’s going be quite a dog-pile of cutthroat competition as they all race to the bottom and try to give users a reason why their engine is the preferred choice.

All in all, this might be very good news for budding game developers, but this also means a higher risk of getting burned because the more competition is out there, the more likely that one or more of them will go EOL because they were financially outdone by their competitors, choose carefully.

I guess in that sense though, perhaps just sticking with a FOSS solution is indeed the safest bet, as it would not only be be impossible for the product to die off as long as someone is developing it, but the organization typically doesn’t need a massive revenue stream either so long as it’s an attractive project for volunteers.

Well, the thing to remember about Valve is they always quit before they get to the third installment of anything. Half-Life 2, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2, Left4Dead 2, Half Life 2 : Episode 2… and now Source 2. Careful folks! :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a great time to be a game developer (no excuses anymore). Now we can pick and choose a tool based on merit not on just whether it’s free or not. If Source 2 is any good I’ll give it a go. For now I’m trying to give Unreal a go.

I don’t know much about the Source engine, but considering Valve’s central role in the development of Vulkan, and the kind of great people they have working there, I think they’ll be able to at least compete with Epic in this space.

As a company, Valve is better positioned to create truly relevant tools for a wide range of game developers - They own Steam, which is essentially the largest distribution channel in the industry, and that gives them a treasure-trove of information relating to problems that most developers actually have, along with insight on what most developers actually want.

If the game industry has a center, I think Valve is much closer to it than Epic, and that’s a significant advantage.

Also, Valve has more money: The company is valued (conservatively) at ~$3B, while Epic is ~$1B.

Unity Technologies is the “odd company out”: Their estimated value is ~$100M; The founders basically cashed out - Current CEO is an EA import; Their employee count is close to Valve and Epic combined, which, considering the quality of their technology, suggests a lack of quality people (or someone just hiring for “growth”, to support the illusion of progress).

Overall, I would be very surprised if Unity was still relevant 2-3 years from now.

I suspect you’re not going to be able to “make” your own game in source 2, but rather create content for existing games made with source 2.

Which could be neat depending on how well blender plays along, make hats and what-not for the next games :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t like this development that everything has to be pseudo free now, do your math, the company has to make their money somehow, so now where they are forced to make it free, they need to find tricks to bring in the profit otherwise, in games this is known as pay2win, so now we also have pay2win development platforms, great.

Uhhh… Valve has a massive money printing machine called Steam. They could release every game and have engine they make forever and still make a ridiculous amount of money every quarter.

valve makes their money off steam, not source. they charge 40-60% of games on steam. thats why you see other publishers starting their own stores like ea and ubisoft. valve takes as much money as the people making the game. thats where the real money is, and somebody else does all the work, takes all the risk, puts up all the financing, etc…then valve swoops in to take all the profit. unreal i think is going to create their own store, and again thats where the real money is. they let people have a license for free use. once the game starts making real money epic gets a share. if those games go on a epic market place epic gets another share. they could easily undercut valves rip off rate and become the new steam. what has valve/gabe done in the past 5 years except live off the work of others?

giving people free tools to make products for your store makes a lot more money in the long run. stores will full shelves make more than stores with empty shelves. the engine companies are basically just making it easier for people to give them more money. 5% license vs 40% of sales? you aren’t going to go broke taking 8X as much, as long as you dont kill the golden goose. the free engine means many more golden geese. you get to go for quantity rather than just pure quality. the more tries you get the greater your odds of success. if 1 game is made it better sell or you go broke. if 100 games are made 1 big hit like a mine craft or flappy birds means you can survive 99 flops. remember epic will be the store not the developer. they’ll get 40% of the hits and the 40% of the misses dont really cost them anything. they were spending the same amount developing the engine anyway. there is not a limit on the number of licenses they can issue so they have unlimited supply. supply and demand. they want as many games as possible so when there is demand for one they get a huge cut, not just 5%.

I think you are on the money there regarding Unity. Which is sad, because they are the one that started this “free for commercial” business plan.

Still no news on CryEngine… (or CryEngine for Cinema for that matter).

It will not take long to appear in commercial engines CryEngine list ‘free’ to x percent. After Crytek is in bad financial sheets lately.

And according to Gabe Newell, Source 2 will be free to produce content for games.

New competitors will have to offer something significantly more than just an equivalent feature set. Unreal has a fairly well established, and rapidly growing community, with all the benefits that entails.

CryEngine would have to catch up, and I’m not so sure that Crytek has the relevant resources to make that happen.

From what I understand, they’re releasing the new version of their engine (Source 2), just like Epic. For people who want to make their own games with it, there may be a small royalty, although, I think Valve will be smarter than that, and just make it completely free, for everyone:

As previously mentioned, most of Valve’s revenue comes through from Steam, so there’s really no need for them to draw profit from tools, as long as those tools contribute positively to the growth of their distribution platform.

I mean, even if Source 2 was a less capable engine, it would probably still be used by many people, because it’s likely to have very tight integration with steamworks, and all the value-add features of that system.

People are jumping the gun on this, ‘free to content developers’ is a far far cry from free to use. We shouldn’t assume they’re following Unity/Epic here. The information they gave us is extremely vague.

It’s totally free to use. Only restriction is that if you’re selling your game, Steam has to be one of the places you sell it.

Well that is news, certainly interesting. Can’t say I like how this will only strengthen the steam monopoly on distribution, but still nice to see developers are given so many options.

This week has been amazingly crazy

As of today Steam is basically a must for game distribution so using Source will save you a lot of money. If anything, Epic knew about this move and made the announcement before Valve to get some PR momentum. Unless your engine is an absolute delight to work with nothing beats free.

Monopolistic as hell and not cool at all.