Unreal Engine 4 is now free, 100%



  • The best game engine.

    UE4 is Free: A Message from Tim Sweeney | News | Unreal Engine – 01:04
    — Unreal Engine

    If/when you publish, it's 5% revenue share after the first $3000, paid quarterly. That's... actually pretty damned generous. That also means if you're small beans and never make over $3000/quarter, you get the thing free-free.


  • BINNED

    And there's no limits and an actual sane way to handle the C++ code now!

    Well, there goes my free time. Need a Windows install in VMWare right away methinks...



  • Supposedly, and I haven't tried it myself, but their new visual scripting interface is good enough to handle 95% of what a game needs without ever having to touch C++.

    I am really amazed at how generous their revenue sharing model is, though. Apparently they rolled-it-out 6 months ago but it wasn't really well-publicized.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Wow. That is pretty amazing really. Good for them!

    Any news on how they plan on enforcing the terms of the agreement? Is it basically "honor system"?


  • BINNED

    Well, I played a bit with Kismet (is it still called that?) in U3 ages ago and it just got too unwieldy too fast. The amount of nodes you needed for anything decent was just too damn much for me outside scripting animations and events.

    If they improved it, hey, I'm not gonna complain.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I am really amazed at how generous their revenue sharing model is, though. Apparently they rolled-it-out 6 months ago but it wasn't really well-publicized.

    Wasn't U3 pretty much the same? Only it had a $100 fee for when you publish the game? Though the percentage might've been higher too, I really don't remember it that well any more.



  • Does the code still look like late 80's era C++?

    gWorld->GetSomething()->DoSomething();  //ouch
    

    Although the editor was pretty full-featured last time I checked. Hmmm. Then again, players won't care how shitty your code is, as long as your game is fun...



  • I'm wondering if this is some kind of Amazon-style "starve the little guys out of business" type deal?

    Sucks to be an indie game engine developer right now, unless you have some seriously differential features...



  • @Polygeekery said:

    Any news on how they plan on enforcing the terms of the agreement? Is it basically "honor system"?

    From what I understand, it's honor system. Until you get large enough to justify their investigating your finances, in which case they might already have an "in" with Apple, Valve, and other app stores to get an estimate of what you owe.

    So basically, if you make Flappy Bird in this thing, they'll probably proactively contact you about it. If you're pulling in $5k a quarter, I doubt they'd bother.

    In the absolute worst case, they could engage lawyers.

    @Onyx said:

    Wasn't U3 pretty much the same?

    No; it was closer to 15%, but it was also complicated-- IIRC, you could like pre-pay for the engine to get a lower revenue share later, or something like that. There were like 3-5 different options based on how much revenue you brought in and how much you expected to bring in but you had to estimate months in advance and complexity ahoy!

    The nice thing about this deal is that it's not only very generous, it's also extremely simple.

    @tar said:

    I'm wondering if this is some kind of Amazon-style "starve the little guys out of business" type deal?

    I doubt Unity's too worried, but if I were working at Crytek, I'd be looking for employment.



  • That's great. I always thought that a good free 3D game engine was something the software world needed desperately.

    I think if Valve had published the Source engine under GPL (or MIT, preferably) it would probably have been the most important FOSS project after Linux. Maybe they'll do it now with Source 2?



  • @anonymous234 said:

    I think if Valve had published the Source engine under GPL (or MIT, preferably) it would probably have been the most important FOSS project after Linux.

    1. They can't, because they only own the copyrights to like 20% of the Source 1 engine, max. Most of it still belongs to id. (The new engine they're using now for DOTA2, they might have full ownership of it. I'm not sure.)

    2. Considering the FOSS community has been utterly incompetent at creating video games, I have no idea why you think it would have helped things to have Source available.

    3. Compared to Unreal, Source is garbage.



  • This is pretty fucking awesome news. Unity's pricing scheme sucks balls for anything remotely big and the lack of custom shaders for the non-pro version is awful (last time I looked at it though, maybe things changed in the meantime).

    I've toyed around enough with Unity to see the seams bursting apart in different spots, so I've always fiddled with the idea of paying up the $20 to get the UE4 download (and then cancel out of the subscription) so I could play around with it, but now I'm happy I've held back.



  • @tar said:

    indie game engine developer

    there's no such thing as an indie game engine developer. at least not in the same league as UE



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I doubt Unity's too worried, but if I were working at Crytek, I'd be looking for employment.

    AFAIK CryTek is also offering Cryengine relatively cheap - $9.99/month and no royalties.

    Also, Hanzo'd this, sort of.



  • I wish they did this back in 2010 when I started my project and game engine licenses generally cost as much as car.


  • ♿

    @anonymous234 said:

    I think if Valve had published the Source engine under GPL (or MIT, preferably) it would probably have been the most important FOSS project after Linux.



  • More importantly, Valve just announced Source 2 today... and:

    We will be making Source 2 available for free to content developers. This combined with recent announcements by Epic and Unity will help continue the PCs dominance as the premiere content authoring platform.

    Oh, and while we're at it, here's Steam Link, Valve's own streaming box... streams games from your PC. MSRP I've heard is $49.99.


  • SockDev

    @powerlord said:

    Oh, and while we're at it, here's Steam Link, Valve's own streaming box


    :wtf:

    <!-- Emoji'd by MobileEmoji 0.2.0-->

  • SockDev

    @ben_lubar said:

    https://github.com/ValveSoftware/source-sdk-2013

    It's not under GPL/MIT license though, is it? :stuck_out_tongue:

    <!-- Emoji'd by MobileEmoji 0.2.0-->


  • I wonder if they were planning to make Source 2 free before Epic's announcement or had a day and a half of last-minute panic-mode.



  • Now that I can't say.

    Granted, from what I've seen, Source 1's licensing restrictions were irritating, especially since you needed something like $10000 just to get a look at the latest version (the one CS:GO uses).


  • ♿

    Well, considering the Alien Swarm Authoring Tools and Source SDK 2013 and Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha were all free, it's definitely a thought that entered their minds before the Unreal Engine 4 announcement.



  • Oh Ben L, I love that sarcasm. Keep it coming.


  • ♿

    Sarcasm? I was being completely honest!



  • I hope it's not the only licensing model, I know it's an over the top example, but if I had been notch I'd have been pretty grumpy at having ended up paying 15.5 million Euros for the Unreal Engine.



  • A better example would be AAA firms though, as they would be less likely to be unable to absorb 5% of gross without going under...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @algorythmics said:

    I hope it's not the only licensing model, I know it's an over the top example, but if I had been notch I'd have been pretty grumpy at having ended up paying 15.5 million Euros for the Unreal Engine.

    Maybe, but it's actually a damn good way of handling it overall as it is scaled with your income stream, making it easy to handle in your accounting. Yes, there's the risk that you'll end up paying over the odds if you're super-successful, but that's a good problem to have.



  • Yes and no, if I end up scaling massively I may end up increasing teams/server capacity/etc etc to compensate, and my margins may suddenly get pretty thin.

    I would hope it's possible to migrate to a different licensing model at some point for an individual title, because 5% of gross can become a significant weight on someone's shoulders, and particularly for example a declining MMO that 5% could instigate or hasten a total collapse, due to inability to afford time to migrate users from emptying servers and save on infrastructure costs as a result. That 5% of gross could easily put them into a loss


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @algorythmics said:

    That 5% of gross could easily put them into a loss

    You need to work it into your charging model. The good thing is that it is relatively easy to do so, about as easy as handling a GST, so you just allow for it in what prices you set (and don't regard that money as “yours”). If you're insisting on running below break-even after allowing for predictable charges, you're in deep financial trouble anyway; it's not against the law to do that, but it's dumb.



  • @algorythmics said:

    I hope it's not the only licensing model, I know it's an over the top example, but if I had been notch I'd have been pretty grumpy at having ended up paying 15.5 million Euros for the Unreal Engine.

    Notch would have made more than $15.5 millon more by ditching Java and being able to more easily port to Xbox, Playstation, mobiles, etc. Plus the additional sales to people who refuse to run Java for various reasons, although I'm sure that wouldn't be much.

    Remember, they had to basically rewrite Minecraft from scratch to produce half the ports out there.



  • @algorythmics said:

    I would hope it's possible to migrate to a different licensing model at some point for an individual title,

    If you're giving Epic a couple million bucks, I'm sure they'd answer the phone and deal.


  • ♿

    @dkf said:

    You need to work it into your charging model.

    C'mon...the developers can't simply dictate a market price.



  • Incidentally, Unity 5 is also free. I haven't looked at how much the royalities for it are, though.



  • If I were Notch I'd have $1.5 billion and an exclusive TF2 hat, and virtually nothing could make me grumpy.



  • 0 forever.

    If you earn over X you have to buy a $1500 license per developer per platform or pay $75 a month (break even is 20 months) per developer per platform*.

    I think X is $100,000 annually.

    * Platform is a loose term, and it only applies to what platforms you want pro features on. Desktop/iOS/Android are separate, as are consoles. Consoles are the only one that require the pro license to deploy at all AFAIK



  • @algorythmics said:

    if I had been notch I'd have been pretty grumpy at having ended up paying 15.5 million Euros for the Unreal Engine.

    But it's worth bearing in mind that if you were Notch, you could afford to have a private canal built to divert your river of tears into the sea just off of your private islands... that ought to soften the blow a little.



  • yeah but only a little. those extra millions could have financed a playset of every magic card in the most expensive printing, and being able to invite a bunch of magic players round to watch me rip them up one at a time and throw them into my private canal would have been great entertainment


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    C'mon...the developers can't simply dictate a market price.

    Maybe, maybe not, but they can work it into their budgeting. The simplest way is to regarded as a bit like a tax: the money isn't really theirs even if it is currently sitting in their accounts. If their revenues are really low, they get a (tiny) bonus bit of income.

    If they can't manage their budgets well enough to make a profit with this sort of thing about, they should go bust and get out of the way of companies that aren't run by financial illiterates.


  • ♿

    @dkf said:

    Maybe, maybe not, but they can work it into their budgeting.

    Yes, just like the masseuse. And then they go under, which was the original point.

    @dkf said:

    If they can't manage their budgets well enough to make a profit with this sort of thing about, they should go bust and get out of the way of companies that aren't run by financial illiterates.

    I'm obviously not disagreeing with that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    Yes, just like the masseuse. And then they go under, which was the original point.

    They're also free to choose a different engine with a different fee structure. Obviously it'd be difficult to switch part way through, but that's beside the point; there's a largely-free market in game engines, despite them being not exactly the most fungible of good/service.

    I wonder how the costs of providing support pan out? Having warm bodies available to answer customer questions is one of the things that pushes costs up yet is expected once you start forking money over for things. That could all be paid for out of the fees, but could so easily get sucked up by a Help Vampire or two.




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