For a little over two years, Crytek decided to go with a royalty-free model for their engine. The model was “pay what you want” with some on-the-side purchasable things, such as content from their games for you to use in your games.


Those terms have changed, but you can still opt-in to the old ones until June 30th… and as long as you don’t upgrade to CryEngine 5.5 (or higher).

This new license structure places a 5% royalty after $5000 of revenue per year. If you make less than $5000 in a year, then no royalty is required, so you don’t need to waste your time giving Crytek its share of a couple of bucks from Steam ten years after launch because a group of friends saw their neighbor play your game over the weekend. The revenue is calculated at the source, however, so you cannot subtract Steam’s take, etc. (unless that third-party already pays Crytek’s portion of the license – they won’t double-dip).

With the new license change, I decided to make a little table of game engines and their license structure. Hopefully this will be helpful if you are thinking about creating a video game.

CryEngine 5.4
CryEngine 5.5+
Unreal Engine 4