Epic Games is giving away $5m to developers using Unreal Engine 4 as part of a new grants program.
The software developer wants to help fund projects that catch its fancy as a way to both bring cool products into the world and advertise the brand.
"The best part? There are absolutely no strings attached," said Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney. "Your project remains yours; you own your IP and publishing rights and you can spend any grant funds however you like. Epic's goal is simply to help UE4 developers succeed because when you succeed, we succeed."
Epic also noted on its grants page that projects funded through crowdfuning (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc) are still eligible. The only stipulation is that it needs to be fleshed out to the "working prototype" stage before it will be considered for a grant.
Grants will be between $5000 and $50,000 and will be awarded based entirely on merit.
"While development can be fueled by creativity and determination alone, finishing and releasing a commercial project often requires money," Sweeney said. "We know this firsthand, as Epic's early projects were built on shoestring budgets funded by such sources as Tim Sweeney's lawn-mowing earnings, and Mark Rein's credit card (before they took it away from him!). A small budget can make all the difference in shipping a project with the content, marketing materials, and promotional expenses necessary for it to gain traction."
"Simply put, we succeed when you succeed," Epic added. "Unreal Dev Grants can give you the boost you need to take your project beyond working prototype. Epic wants to help you focus more on creation and worry less about keeping the lights on."
The grant isn't just for video games either, as Epic would love to see its software used in all sorts of disciplines. "We like games, of course, but we also want to see animated features, architectural visualisations, Marketplace content, mods- anything that will make us say 'Whoa.'"
Last year Epic shocked everyone by making Unreal Engine 4 open to all for a mere $19 a month wherein devs would have to pay a royalty fee of five per cent of any gross revenue earned.