Amazon's latest move with its cloud service, AWS, is a free game engine called Lumberyard. This is a program for making computer games for different platforms. Game engines can cost thousands of dollars and releasing Lumberyard for free is a significant move.
Then what is the catch? Well of course Amazon wants something. Lumberyard is heavily integrated with both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Twitch, the streaming service Amazon bought in late 2014 for $970 million.
There Are Some Restrictions
Basically Amazon wants game developers to incorporate both Amazon's cloud services and Twitch's streaming capabilities into their games.
Lumberyard is totally free to use and developers can even modify the code. There are only restrictions in use regarding certain areas:
"The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use."
Unless Zombies Roam the Streets
There is however one instance when Lumberyard will be completely free for anything, even safety-critical systems. That is if there is a zombie apocalypse.
Gaming site Kotaku went through the terms of service of the game engine and it contains a rather peculiar paragraph.
"This restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization."
So in case of the living dead roaming the streets feel free to use Lumberyard to build transportations systems, spacecrafts or whatever humanity might need.