Unreal Engine 4 is available for $19 a month

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  03 March 2014
Unreal Engine 4 is available for $19 a month

This is kind of a big deal, I am surprised nobody posted it.

Unreal Engine 4 launches today. What we’re releasing is both simple and radical: everything.

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. For $19/month you can have access to everything, including the Unreal Editor in ready-to-run form, and the engine’s complete C++ source code hosted on GitHub for collaborative development.

This is the complete technology we at Epic use when building our own games, forged by years of experience shipping games like Gears of War for Xbox and Infinity Blade for iOS, and now reinvented for a new generation. Having the full C++ source provides the ultimate flexibility and puts developers in control of their schedules and destinies: Whatever you require to build and ship your game, you can find it in UE4, source it in the GitHub community, or build it yourself – and then share it with others.

Develop in the Unreal Ecosystem

Beyond the tools and source, Unreal Engine 4 provides an entire ecosystem. Chat in the forums, add to the wiki, participate in the AnswerHub Q&A, and join collaborative development projects via GitHub.

To help you get started, we’re shipping lots of ready-made content, samples, and game templates. You’ll find it in the Marketplace in the Unreal Editor. Right now, it simply hosts free stuff from Epic, but its resemblance to the App Store is no coincidence: It will grow into a complete ecosystem for sharing community-created content, paid and free, and open for everyone’s participation!

Ship Games with Unreal

We’re working to build a company that succeeds when UE4 developers succeed. Anyone can ship a commercial product with UE4 by paying 5% of gross revenue resulting from sales to users. If your game makes $1,000,000, then we make $50,000. We realize that’s a lot to ask, and that it would be a crazy proposition unless UE4 enables you to build way better games way more productively than otherwise!

So, will this effort succeed? That’s up to you and your judgment of the engine’s value. Unreal Engine 4 has been built by a team of over 100 engineers, artists and designers around the world, and this launch represents all of our hopes and dreams of how major software can be developed and distributed in the future.

We find this future very exciting. It’s no longer dominated by giant publishers and marketing campaigns, but by a simple and honest proposition: Gamers pay for great games, and anybody who can valuably contribute to building those games can succeed, from indie developers, to large triple-A teams, and to individual programmers and content creators, too.

A New Beginning

This first release of Unreal Engine 4 is just the beginning. In the C++ code, you can see many new initiatives underway, for example to support Oculus VR, Linux, Valve’s Steamworks and Steam Box efforts, and deployment of games to web browsers via HTML5. It’s all right there, in plain view, on day one of many years of exciting and open development ahead!

We have enjoyed building Unreal Engine 4 so far and hope you will join us on this journey as a contributor to the future of Unreal!

Tim Sweeney
Founder, Epic Games

  03 March 2014
I like this deal. It's simple, and smart.
  03 March 2014
I haven't looked at this sort of stuff in a while so forgive me if I sound like a total moron. I understand all of the benefits that this new update and subscription model bring. However, correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't the older UDK available without a paid subscription? It would seem to me that if they're trying to make it more accessible then a paid subscription actually makes it less so. I know that the old UDK had a pretty steep royalty model and no source included. I was, however, under the impression that you could always mess around with the editor as long as you could tolerate the big download. I've got to think that offering no free model might just drive some the dabblers or aspiring to the free version of Unity instead.
DISCLAIMER: The views presented herein do not necessarily represent those of my brain.
  03 March 2014

That was my understanding, but this way allows them to make money from the start. Subscription model is more lucrative. Personally I'd rather pay $200, and give them a 10-15% cut but obviously if my game makes no money all they gain is $200. If i spend 2 years making content then that is already $456.

It's still a great deal if you are going to make something with UDK but it will turn away those who want to experiment before taking the plunge. If anything they have restricted the market to professionals. Now is the best time to make something with the engine.

If you could use previous UDK version then that might be good for those looking to learn.


Um scratch everything i said about it being a lucrative model.
Quote: You can cancel your subscription at any time and keep using the engine, though without monthly updates.

Drop $20, learn, make and have access to the full source. Unity is probably getting worried right about now.

Last edited by abvfx : 03 March 2014 at 08:35 AM.
  03 March 2014
Also, let's not forget that they are offering the full source C++ code of the engine for download from Github, which was definitely not the case with UDK. In fact, from what I read, they have removed the UnrealScript support completely and replaced it with a Blueprint visual scripting system, which is way cooler, IMO. Plus, like I said before, you have the C++ source to fall back on.

Way to go native guys!
The things we own, end up owning us.
  03 March 2014
I must admit I am a bit surprised there isn't more discussion of this here. From what I read of their visual scripting, even an artist can put together a competent game without the need for real coding. I would curious to see just how far this scripting language can go.

This is industry changing NEWS in my opinion.
Terrence Walker
Studio ArtFX
Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
You don't need millions of dollars or major studio backing!!
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by teruchan: I must admit I am a bit surprised there isn't more discussion of this here. From what I read of their visual scripting, even an artist can put together a competent game without the need for real coding. I would curious to see just how far this scripting language can go.

This is industry changing NEWS in my opinion.

I haven't really read about their system in depth let alone try it. But things like that have been there what feels like ages ago without changing the industry, so i am not sure if it will this time.

  03 March 2014
It'll be like all visual scripting- great for visual people but ultimately offer limited control against just coding what you want.
  03 March 2014
And its f###ng 19 euros.... i dont get how conversion like this is legit.

Its not about the money or something, its small amount anyway, but i just dont like the fact they do the 1$=1€

Last edited by Toms993 : 03 March 2014 at 01:31 PM.
  03 March 2014
As someone who was eagerly waiting for UDK 4. This blew my mind. To be given access to the full engine, which will no doubt be overwhelming at first, seemed too good to be true. Yes, there is a subscription fee, $228 for the year, but if they continue to provide the support, tutorials and content available with the initial release, I'd say it is well worth it.

And, let me be the first to say, good riddance to UnrealScript. Between Blueprint for visual scripting and C++ for us slightly more hardcore developers, this is just awesome. I see a lot of long, late nights in my future.

  03 March 2014
The terms are valid for PC/mobile/Steambox only. Still, considering that they give away the C++ sourcecode... This has great potential. Let's see how Unity and Cryengine will respond.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex & more violent..." Einstein
  03 March 2014
They would have had consoles support in there too except that people still have to get a license from Microsoft or Sony to be able to do that in the first place--if you want to support consoles then you can contact them about doing that.

And yeah, you can pay for a month and cancel just to get access and still release your game developed on the version you downloaded. As far as Blueprints go--it's basically a node based version of Unrealscript, so it makes it much easier for people to design gameplay than before. And if you really need to you can use C++ but for the most part you won't need to. And if there's a feature you need in the engine, the source code is available.
The Z-Axis
  03 March 2014
Downloaded it yesterday and I am absolutely floored by how awesome it is.

I have used the UDK here and there for shorts amounts of time but never got into it because I absolutely hated it's UI. UE4 has pretty much the best UI I have ever used in an app. Whoever designed it should get a raise.

The visual quality is also amazing, imported some assets I have and threw some cameras in the scene and did some camera animation and added some post process effects and it looked so good.

Can't wait to dive more into it this weekend.
  03 March 2014
Downloading as we speak and kind of excited. Hoping the exterior landscape environment tools are as good as CryEngine's. I have seen some real time stuff looks as good as Vue's rendered stuff, ( of which I very nearly purchased a few weeks back )

Hoping to use this as a general scene builder too. Seems like bargain of the century to me, I may actually get to have fun with my Occulas Rift too.
Posted by Proxy
  03 March 2014
It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out once the promised updates to Unity (v5) and CryEngine are actually available, and they have more time to think about how to respond on the business side to Unreal 4. Epic's making their source publicly accessible to all is a major shift, and I applaud their straight-forward, simple subscription/licensing model.

If you were to compare what it would cost you to build your own engine/tools of that quality vs. a 5% royalty fee, I think the royalty fee is a steal. Especially compared to the ridiculous 30% fee that Apple of Google charge for distribution.

Like many, I'll be spending the next weeks trying to get a grip on what really differentiates these 3 powerful development environments in terms of feature sets, platforms support, and community/learning resources, and especially DCC content pipeline ease-of-use, in order to make a good adoption decision.
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