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'Star Citizen' Switches To Amazon Game Engine After Over 4 Years In Development

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Cloud Imperium Games, the developer behind Star Citizen, is switching into a new game engine after already spending four years in development.

Star Citizen, the spiritual successor to the Wing Commander series and the single biggest crowdfunding initiative of all time, is switching from the CryEngine of Crytek into Lumberyard by Amazon. Also switching into the new game engine is "Squadron 42," the game's single-player mode.

Star Citizen Switching To Lumberyard

"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," said Chris Roberts, the studio head and the creative lead for Star Citizen.

Roberts added that Lumberyard provided groundbreaking technology for online games, such as deep back-end integration on Amazon Web Services and a social component with its connection with video game streaming platform Twitch.

Crytek Shutting Down Five Studios

The announcement of the switch to Lumberyard from CryEngine for Star Citizen came after the news that, because of financial problems, Crytek would be closing down five of the company's international studios to refocus on its core technologies. CryEngine is considered to be a central part of its business, but it is unclear what the plan is for Crytek's reorganization.

When Roberts was asked for comment regarding the closure of five Crytek studios, he said that the development of Star Citizen would not be affected.

Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 On Lumberyard

The Alpha 2.6 release of Star Citizen already runs on Lumberyard, but the change is not a swift response to the reported financial woes of Crytek. The collaboration with Amazon for the game engine switch has already been going on for over a year, but the timing of the transition comes at a great time as Cloud Imperium will no longer have to worry about Crytek's financial situation.

Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 is the first release to feature "Star Marine," the first-person shooter component of the game. The version also introduces several new additions to the game, such as a Pirate Swarm mode in Arena Commander and an updated menu system.

Star Citizen, which was announced back in October 2012, has raised more than $139 million through crowdfunding initiatives. The game features an all-star cast that includes Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, and Gillian Anderson.

However, after more than four years since the start of its first crowdfunding campaign, the full game is not yet ready to be released. Upon completion, Star Citizen is looking to offer a space simulation with an expansive multiplayer universe, the single-player campaign "Squadron 42," first-person shooting, flight combat, and infantry warfare.

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