At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today Epic Games announced that it is offering a monthly subscription to its Unreal Engine 4 game technology. This should allow indie developers who might not be able to come up with a large chunk of cash to license the engine outright a way to finance it over time.
Any games developed and sold using the engine would pay a five percent royalty on gross revenues from any games released. By "gross revenue" Epic means revenue AFTER a platform holder like Apple or Valve take their cut. Those releasing free games only need to worry about the monthly subscription fee.
This is "not the secretive, elite approach we've taken in the past where [the source code] is only available to a few teams in strict secrecy," Epic cofounder Tim Sweeney said at an announcement event during GDC today. "With Unreal Engine 4, we hope to wipe the slate clean... This is a bold new step for Epic, but we think it's an appropriate one for the new shape of the game industry."
"Our whole business is structured to succeed only if developers succeed," he continued. "If a developer succeeds with the engine, we succeed."
UE4 subscribers would be able to develop games on either PC or Mac systems and deploy whatever they create to PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. More platforms will be supported soon, according to Epic. Sweeney says that users looking at the source code will see upcoming work on support for Linux and SteamOS, in addition to direct HTML5 deployments in the future.
For more info about the subscription plan, check out the Unreal Engine site and the video to your left.
Source: Ars Technica