Epic Games will be giving Unreal Engine 4 users “access to everything.” Users must subscribe and pay $19 per month for the service and give a flat 5 percent royalty fee on game sales. The new business model for Unreal Engine goes live today and is aimed at “early adopters.”
Tim Sweeny, founder and CEO of Epic Games said the company has traditionally made Unreal Engine available to large AAA game development teams at the cost of millions of dollars, but now Epic must “really rethink our whole business as to how we make the engine available to teams.”
“Looking at the new shape of the industry now, we realize that’s an outdated tool,” Sweeney said. “Looking at the possibilities for the engine, we started from scratch and thought ‘How can we make the engine available to more people?'”
Unreal Engine 4 developers will now be able to get access to everything on Windows PC and Mac. Developers can create software for PC, iOS and Android platforms with the subscription. Console support may come later, Epic says.
“Everybody who subscribe to Unreal Engine 4 gets access to the engine’s complete C++ source code,” Sweeney said.
According to the Unreal Engine 4 website subscribers can cancel and renew at any time, but still retain access to UE4 tools, they just won’t get any updates that Epic puts out. “People can come and go as they please,” said Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games.
Unreal Engine 4 is available now under the new subscription model. Epic Games tells new users that the engine is “powerful, but not very polished, and it requires a beefy desktop computer. If you’re looking for a more polished product, please check back in 6 months.”