In early 2014, Unreal Engine 4 was made available for a $19pm subscription fee to anyone that wanted it. As of the 2nd of March, it’s 100% free.

Yes, you read that right: if you want to make a game and you’d like to do it with a professional engine used in everything from AAA games to Indie titles, you can totally do it without putting down a cent.

The only “catch”, if it can even be called that, is that you must pay Epic Games 5% of your project’s revenue over $3 000 every quarter. So they only make money when you do, which I think is more than fair.

Lowering the barrier to entry

The beauty of the news, announced on Epic’s blog, is that the barrier to entry for small developers is now so low that just about anyone can participate; the only thing an aspirant developer needs now is a PC to run it on and the time and talent to make something of it.

Epic is also doing the right thing by refunding anyone who signed up for an Unreal Engine 4 subscription on a pro-rata basis, and giving all who downloaded and used the engine a $30 gift card to spend in the Unreal store. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

Inevitable success

This is actually a very smart move on Epic’s part. There are so many studios – including an unprecedented number of Indie developers – making games today and trying to set themselves apart in a rather crowded industry, that by giving anyone that wants them the tools to succeed Epic is positioning itself to make heaps of cash off of the inevitable successes.

Should you be one of those developers and you’d like to get your hands on your own copy of Unreal Engine 4, head over to the official Unreal Engine site and click on the big blue and white “Get Unreal” button you’ll see in the top right corner.

If you’d like an idea of what Unreal Engine 4 is capable of, check out the story I wrote in late January about a 3D Parisian apartment crafted in the engine that looks almost believably real.

What are you waiting for? Get creating!

[Source – Unrealengine.com blog, Image – Softpedia]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.