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New CryEngine launches, numbered updates scrapped

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Crytek has launched a new version of its CryEngine software development tool, abandoning the series' decade-old system of numbered updates.

Originally created for the 2004 game Far Cry, the software's most recent release was CryEngine 3 in 2009. The newest version, announced today at Gamescom, offers various improvements and support for next-generation consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The tool's free version, available to non-commercial game makers, has also been expanded.

"We've dramatically changed the engine so many times, it's not the same engine anymore," said Crytek's business development manager, Carl Jones. "We have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie-quality character rendering and animation solutions [and] vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel-accurate displacement mapping and now physical-based rendering."

Crytek announced it has merged the company's engine licensing and its R&D departments in order to "double the level of one-to-one care offered to game licensees."

"Supplying an engine is not about delivering a static piece of software," said CryEngine's director of business development, Areil Cai. "It's about Crytek being an R&D team for our game licensees; providing the latest, greatest technology we can, all the time."