June 22, 2017 // 2 p.m.
Crytek has announced that the upcoming 5.4.0 release of CryEngine, its in-house game engine, will officially support the low-level Vulkan application programming interface (API).
Announced back in 2015 as an off-shoot of the Khronos Group's GLnext project and based in part on AMD's Mantle technology, Vulkan offers developers a low-latency graphics rendering API designed to squeeze the most performance out of even low-end hardware from mobile devices up to multi-GPU gaming rigs. The launch of the API, which stands in competition to Microsoft's own low-level DirectX 12, was slowly followed by a 1.0 release, support in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, Vulkan-specific benchmarks, and even support for Intel's integrated graphics processors along with games from DOTA 2 to Star Citizen making the leap.
Now, Crytek has joined the fun with the news that the upcoming CryEngine 5.4.0 release will include native support for the Vulkan API. 'Following on from the renderer refactoring and DirectX 12 implementation, the team has been hard at work implementing a Vulkan renderer,' the company announced this week. 'The code can be seen [now] although the feature is not functional, yet. We want to make these changes available to you for review whilst we are currently stabilising the engine for our 5.4 release. So you can track our progress on GitHub until 5.4 is finally here by the end of July.'
The update to the open-source CryEngine will be welcomed by Vulkan fans but is likely to do little to secure Crytek's financial future. The company has been struggling for years, fighting off bankruptcy in 2014 with a capital injection and a deal with Amazon then closing down the majority of its studios in 2016 in an attempt to keep afloat.
Additional changes in CryEngine 5.4.0 include new standard components for the Entity Component System introduced in the 5.3.0 release, the release of the source code to the Sandbox Editor, and a shift in the frequency of code deployments to the company's GitHub repository following the discovery of an issue with GitFusion.