Epic opens up their Unreal development tools to everyone with a $19 subscription service
Starting today, you can access all of Unreal Engine 4 and start making games for $19 a month.
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Gears of War developer Epic is probably better known in the development community for creating and licensing the Unreal game engine, but those tools have always been very expensive and limited to big studios. However, Epic announced that all that's changing for Unreal Engine 4: starting today, anyone can download and start using the complete Unreal Engine 4 for $19 a month.
Epic revealed the plan's details at a GDC press conference earlier today. Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, said, "This is our complete engine, with everything Epic provides to leading game developers, priced accessibly for teams of all sizes, budgets, and aspirations."
In addition to the monthly fee, developers would also pay "5% of gross revenue resulting from any commercial products built using UE4." This also includes microtransactions and any ad revenue in free-to-play games. Epic clarified that, "Unreal Engine 4 can be licensed via custom-negotiated terms, for companies that wish to form a closer support relationship with Epic, or to reduce or eliminate the 5% royalty in exchange for up-front payment."
The tools are geared specifically toward development on PC, iOS, Android, and Mac. Unreal Engine 4 can also be used to develop games on Microsoft and Sony platforms, but the rights to use those tools would have to be negotiated separately. Epic is currently working to with Microsoft and Sony to make those platform development tools more accessible to indie developers as well, stating "We want to make all of [Unreal] available to everyone."
No new game announcements accompanied the Engine's release, and Sweeney said that Epic is not currently working on any titles in the Unreal game universe. But Epic does have several unannounced games in development in addition to the previously revealed Fortnite, and they hope to share more details soon.