In a surprising turn of events, Epic Games revealed today via their official blog that Unreal Engine 4 is now completely free to use.
Use of the engine will now be made freely available, and any future updates to Unreal Engine 4 will come for free as well. This announcement comes as a pleasant surprise considering that just a year ago, Epic released a low cost subscription model for use of the engine. As stated in the blog post, making the engine available for free became possible only due to the success of the said $19/month subscription model. Furthermore, original subscribers to the now defunct $19/month model is going to receive a $30 reimbursement from Epic to be used on the Unreal Engine Marketplace.
As Epic’s Tim Sweeney said:
“You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.”
With Unreal Engine 4 becoming free to use, it opens up greater creative possibilities for the programming community at large. Unreal Engine 4 has versatility that allows developers to make their games as they see fit. With all the assets of the engine becoming freely available for anyone to use, we can look forward to impressive projects, indie or otherwise.