Game engines are becoming an increasingly competitive market. With all the most popular options such as Unity and GameMaker offering free versions of their software, Epic themselves have thrown their hats into the ring by announcing that Unreal Engine 4 will now be free too, along with any updates.
Epic’s Tim Sweeney explains it as such: “You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.”
This is in stark contrast to the previous plan, in which users would pay $19 per month for a subscription that granted access to the engine. Sweeney has clarified that people who previously bought a subscription will receive $30 credit to use in the UE4 Marketplace.
It’s certainly an exciting time to be a video game developer. There’s no shortage of choice, and it’s likely that this announcement will prompt price changes from the engine’s competitors.