Hard to believe: Unreal Engine 4 is available for a $19 per month subscription | PCGamesN

Hard to believe: Unreal Engine 4 is available for a $19 per month subscription

Unreal Engine 4 is available for a $19 per month subscription

Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney announced a new direction for the Unreal Engine at GDC today. The successor to the nearly ubiquitous Unreal Engine 3, Unreal Engine 4, looks like it will be even more widespread than its predecessor, as Epic Games has released the engine using a subscription model.

For $19 per month, developers will get access to the entire engine with Epic getting 5 percent of the gross revenue if the project is published commercially. The Unreal Engine 3, on the other hand, had a much more complex licensing system that ranged from the free UDK with Epic getting 25 percent in royalties to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Spending $19 per month nets developers access to the full package, including the Unreal Editor already set up to run straight away and the complete C++ source code. It’s massive news for indies, giving them access to a powerful tool at incredibly low costs. “Epic’s goal is to put the engine within reach of everyone interested in building games and 3D content, from indies to large triple-A development teams, and Minecraft creators as well,” says Sweeney. 

UE4 will also be getting OSX support and the source code suggests that Epic is planning to support Oculus Rift, Steam Machines, Linux and HTML 5. 

You can grab the engine and start the subscription plan right now. Epic is taking a community-focused approach built around communicating with users and encouraging collaboration through forums, a Wiki and AnswerHub Q&A, and the C++ source code is hosted on GitHub where devs can collaborate and share. 

But this news is not been welcomed by everyone. No Goblin co-founder Dan Teasdale tweets “UE4 subscription is rad, but 5% gross, no scripting language, and no asset store-alike still keep it off the table for devs like us.”

Shams Jorjani, Paradox Interactive’s business buff can’t see the potential for small indie devs, tweeting “Most indies = small teams = not tons of graphics. Which traditionally has been Unreals forte. So what's the win for the average indie?” He also notes that with Epic taking 5 percent of the gross revenue, they could make money even if the developer doesn’t. 

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Ocid avatarBelimawr avatarFraser Brown avatarTenClub avatar
Ocid Avatar
4 Years ago

Thats a fantastic offer on the subscription end. Super cheap although offset by 5% of gross revenue taken. Wish Unity had a slightly cheaper sub than they currently do.

Kinda rules out me sitting down and making some random stuff from time to time if I need to pay.

Still I can see this working out pretty well for Epic and some devs. $19 a month + 5% taken is still for better than the 25% they used to get. Be nice to see an uptake in UE4 games and more competition on the engine side.

Belimawr Avatar
4 Years ago

while it is better in the long term for developers who want to sell, the $20 sub will put of free game makers and hobbyists, as at the moment the UE3 devkit can be got for free and you are only charged when you start making more than a certain amount of money, but with this you are losing money from day one, so if it say takes you 2 years to make a game it's an extra $480 in production costs and on a free game that could make a lot of people either charge or just turn away from the engine.

while I do like how accessible Epic has made their engine, this seems like a step backwards to push for adoption of the engine as it basically puts a price on trying the engine.

Fraser Brown Avatar
4 Years ago

The UDK was a free version of UE3, and differed somewhat from UE3. It was also released years after UE3. So I don't think it's really fair to compare UE4 and UDK.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a new UDK based on UE4 appear somewhere down the line, anyway. And currently the price isn't for "trying" the engine, it's for buying the engine. If you really do just want to try it and aren't sure you'll end up using it, then you can just spend $20 for one month.

Ocid Avatar
4 Years ago

$20 a month isn't a whole lot. The price is negligible for the features you're getting. I mean you can publish to a shitload of platforms. $20 a month is far more accessible to startup indies than the $1500+ for pro on unity per platform, per person. You know it'll cost you $4500 to have pro on desktop, android on ios versus $20 a month.

It's come to my attention as well that you can sub once and cancel and you get all the features of the engine at that time. You don't get upgrades but its essentially a full trial for as long as you want.

There is apparently an asset store as well though currently only accessible through the editor and there'll be plenty of people to add scripting support through it. Python, C#, Lua etc etc.

I don't think it will put off free game makers either. You still need to spend money on the likes of game maker and if you're using Unity (like me currently) then you're going to end up buying stuff off the asset store even if its just a couple of things.

TenClub Avatar
4 Years ago

Crytek just 1up'd Epic.

CryEngine is $10 a month and royalty-free