If you’ve ever considered making your own video game, now could be a good time to try, because Epic has just announced that its Unreal Engine 4 is now free for all to use.
The feature-packed engine, which has been used to develop games like the upcoming Dead Island sequel, Tekken 7 and XCOM: Enemy Within, would have previously set users back $19 a month, plus a 5 per cent slice of their revenue, but all that has changed.
Now, all Epic asks for, in return for free use of its software is 5 per cent royalty on your gross revenue, after the first $3000 (£1952), so you’ll only have to pay up if your game/project is a success.
In a post on the Unreal blog, Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said:
“This is the complete technology we use at Epic when building our own games. It scales from indie projects to high-end blockbusters; it supports all the major platforms; and it includes 100% of the C++ source code. Our goal is to give you absolutely everything, so that you can do anything and be in control of your schedule and your destiny. Whatever you require to build and ship your game, you can find it in UE4, source it in the Marketplace, or build it yourself – and then share it with others.”
The engine will allow users to develop games for every platform, so whether you’re looking to make a game for iPhone users or a blockbuster title for the Playstation or Xbox, you’re covered.
Developers who have already paid their subscription for the software will receive a refund, according to Sweeney, and anyone who has ever paid for the software will get a $30 credit which can be spent in the Unreal Engine Marketplace.
The decision to put the software out there, in the hands of people who are brimming with skill and imagination but a bit skint, is a solid one, which is likely to reap as many rewards for Epic as it is the gaming community as a whole. With rival engines like Unity already free-to-use, competition like this ultimately benefits us gamers.
So no more excuses – if you want to make your own game, get on and do it.