There are a number of different GameMaker Studio 2 licences available, but which one is the best for me?
That's a question only you can answer, but at least we can help you make your decision by outlining the pros and cons of each licence, as well as what the intention behind each one is...
The Trial Licence is a free licence granted to you when you make your YoYo Account and gives you almost complete access to GameMaker Studio 2 for 30 days. After creating the account, you can get access to the trial version of GMS2 simply by going to the Downloads section of your account Dashboard:
Once you download GMS2, simply run it and when prompted give your YoYo Account details to sign-in. If you have not bought any other licences, then GMS2 will default to the 30-day Trial Licence and you can start using the program in this capacity.
The Trial Licence permits you to test out most of the features of GameMaker Studio 2, but does not permit you to create final executables, nor does it permit you to use the higher-performance YoYo Compiler or create a Marketplace Publisher account to sell your assets to others (find out more about the Trial limits here).
This version is ideal for those people that are unsure of whether GameMaker Studio 2 is for them and want to try it before committing to buying a licence.
Note, you cannot get a Trial licence of the Steam client.
With the Creator Licence you unlock the power of GameMaker Studio 2 and the ability to create a final executable of any project you make. You also get full access to the GameMaker Marketplace, so you can sell assets or services to the many other GameMaker users who use the Marketplace.
You can buy either a Windows or a macOS licence, meaning that you will only be able to compile a final executable for one you bought.
For example, purchasing GameMaker Studio 2 Creator Mac allows you to use the full licence if you login to GMS2 on a Mac and make macOS games (which you can then sell on the App Store, Steam, or other Mac Marketplaces). If you were to login using the Windows IDE you will be a Trial user only, so your project would be restricted in size and you could only test your game on Windows, but not create a final executable to pass to others.
The Creator Licence is designed for hobby developers or for people that just want to have fun making small projects for themselves, as well as those people that want to learn to use the product without having to pay a larger initial amount.
The Creator licence is a 12-month non-renewing licence, and at the end of the 12-month period you will need to buy another licence to continue using GMS2 fully. Or, before your initial 12-month licence elapses, take advantage of the 30% discount on the Desktop licence if you want to be able to make and sell games on Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu stores.
It is worth noting that the Creator Licence will not permit you to change the Splash Screen of your projects, nor can you disable anonymous in-game analytics, and you do not get access to the second compiler ("YYC").
Note, you cannot get a Creator Licence through the Steam client.
The different Developer licences are permanent licences with a one-off purchase price. When you purchase any of the Developer licences you get access to unlimited resources in your projects as well as the additional YoYo Compiler ("YYC"), and you can disable game analytics and change the splash screens.
Developer licences are ideal for hobby devs looking to expand their horizons, as well as for studios looking for a fast cross-platform tool to target the various different app stores. You can find a list below of the different Developer licences available:
- Desktop -The Desktop licence lets you create games for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu. This permits you to create games that can be shared and played by anyone on a home computer, as well as upload them to the many online stores like Steam, Humble or itch.io.
- Amazon Fire - With this license, you can publish your games to the popular Amazon Appstore. This budget licence is a great introduction to mobile game development targeting the Android based Amazon Fire devices (including FireTV), and the purchase price of this licence will be discounted from the Mobile licence RRP should you later wish to target all Android devices or iOS devices. Note, you cannot get a Fire Licence through the Steam client.
- Mobile - This license allows you to target Android/Amazon Fire and iOS/ipadOS/tvOS devices. Using the single codebase for your game you can and build executables for the different platforms so they can be distributed through stores like the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon.
- Web - The Web licence permits you to create HTML5 games. HTML5 projects can be shown in a browser on both desktop and mobile devices, providing a rich and versatile platform for your games.
- UWP - Once you buy the UWP licence you will be able to compile your games for Windows 10 devices, including the XBox One (through the Creator's Program) using the Universal Windows Platform.
Console licences are purchased as 12-month non-renewing licences and at the end of the 12-month period you will need to buy another licence to continue using GMS2 fully. Note that access to by these licences and to see any of our console development documentation will require you to have successfully signed up with the respective console manufacturer as a developer (links given below) and validated this information with us, at which time your account will be unlocked to allow access to the console you validated.
The available Console licences are:
- PS4 - This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Sony PlayStation 4 (register here).
- Xbox One - This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Microsoft Xbox One (register here).
- Nintendo Switch - This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Nintendo Switch (register here).
- Ultimate - This licence gives you the ultimate in export options for your projects, as it includes every export target GMS2 offers for one (significantly reduced compared to if you bought them all separately) payment. Note that whilst all consoles are included in the purchase, it's still only those you are validated for which will actually be available to you.
Note, you cannot get Console Licenses through the Steam client.
The Education licence is a special licence for teachers who want to teach GameMaker in an educational environment.
Each Education account is provided with a permanent 'Teacher' licence to allow the software to be evaluated and to enable teachers to set-up classes prior to making a purchase. The 'Teacher' licence includes all the functionality of a Desktop licence.
Educational Licences available for purchase are:
- Educator - This includes all functionality of the Desktop licence
- Achiever - This includes all functionality of the Desktop, Web, Mobile and UWP licences
Both the Educator and Achiever licences are available on 1-month, 1 year and 2 year duration and have a minimum purchase of 5 seats per licence type.
Details, pricing and requirements for the education use of GameMaker Studio 2 can be found on our Education Page.
To be able to purchase Education licences you will need to submit a request to us so that we can verify the educational licences will be used for educational purposes. For more information, please see here: Requesting A GameMaker Studio 2 Education Licence