Epic Games has made its Unreal Engine 4 game development tools available for free.
The engine already finds its way into many modern AAA games, but Epic Games now wants Unreal Engine 4 to be adopted by smaller developers.
As such, the company has announced on its blog that you can now download the engine for free and use it for “everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation.”
Just to reiterate, this is the complete toolset for Unreal Engine 4 – there isn’t a premium paid tier for major developers or anything.
So how will Epic make any money if it’s giving its core tools away for free? It’ll still charge developers that use Unreal Engine 4 a five percent royalty rate on gross revenue once $3,000 has been made in a quarter.
“It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed,” says company founder Tim Sweeney.
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“The state of Unreal is strong, and we’ve realised that as we take away barriers, more people are able to fulfil their creative visions and shape the future of the medium we love,” Sweeney continues. “That’s why we’re taking away the last barrier to entry, and going free.”
Last year the company made Unreal Engine 4 available on a monthly subscription, which was seen as a generous move at the time. Making it completely free and entirely royalty based is on a whole other level.