This week, YoYo Games is officially launching GameMaker: Studio, a new development tool designed to let developers create casual and social games for a wide array of platforms.
GameMaker: Studio is the next version of 2D drag-and-drop game development tool GameMaker. Originally created in 1999 by professor Mark Overmars, YoYo Games acquired the license in 2007. This new version of the program provides developers with the options to export native titles to most platforms, including HTML 5, Facebook canvas (as seen with YoYo’s own Grave Maker), Android, iOS, Windows and OS X.
German developer Handy Games has partnered with YoYo Games to use GameMaker: Studio to create a new, as-yet-unnannounced role-playing game, but YoYo Games CEO Sandy Duncan tells us the tool is primarily intended for small companies working on a budget. According to Duncan, creating a cross-platform casual game with GameMaker: Studio can cost less than $10,000 in total. A more labor intensive social game can be done for under $50,000.
In the low-end of the game development market GameMaker: Studio could prove to be serious competition for companies like Unity Technologies and GameSalad. Priced under a modular model the base price for GameMaker: Studio is $99, which allows developers to export to Windows and OS X. HTML 5 is another $99, while iOS and Android cost $199 each. All-in, the entire platform is a one-time purchase of less than $600, compared to $1500 for Unity Pro and GameSalad Pro’s yearly subscription rate of $299.