Video game developers are in for a treat, as Epic Games announced yesterday that their latest development kit, Unreal Engine 4, is now completely free. There are no strings attached, either. Users can download and utilize the software in its entirety, with all future updates being free of charge as well.
The company made the announcement on the Unreal Engine website, stating that enthusiasts and professionals alike can now utilize the free tool kit for “everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation.”
The state of Unreal is strong, and we’ve realized that as we take away barriers, more people are able to fulfill their creative visions and shape the future of the medium we love. That’s why we’re taking away the last barrier to entry, and going free.
Epic Games has also stated that users who have purchased a subscription will get a refund on their most recent month’s payment, while anyone who has ever paid for the engine will receive a $30 credit which can be spent on the Unreal marketplace.
Unreal Engine 4 was launched last year with a subscription model which cost early adopters $19 a month, plus a five percent royalty fee. Developers will still have to pay the royalty fee on all sales above $3,000, but that the tool kit is being launched with no subscription costs will be a real winner for anyone interested in making their own games. With the software going free, it will open up a world of potential for future developers to unleash their creativity.