Epic has revealed commercial terms for licensing the Unreal Development Kit - the free version of Unreal Engine 3, originally released for non-commercial use (in education, for example).

If you're selling the software you make using UDK, Epic takes a substantial 25% royalty on all revenue after the first $5000, as well as charging an upfront fee of $99.

If the software you produce with UDK is for internal use only - the example given is an application for employee safety training - you'll pay $2500 per developer using Epic's tools.

In Epic's example, an indie game developer that releases a game made with UDK through digital distribution would pay Epic €2500 on the €15,000 they earn in the first calendar quarter (zero per cent on the first €5000, and then 25 per cent of the next €10,000). Then 25 per cent on all subsequent sales.

That's a hefty cut - but this is not how major publishers and developers license Epic's technology. Such companies would negotiate a licence for the full version of Unreal Engine 3 (or one of its predecessors) with Mark Rein and co. The terms of those licences remain confidential, and probably vary from customer to customer.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh


Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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