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Unreal Engine 4 is now free. For everyone. Really

Devs pay a per cent of revenue instead.

Unreal Engine 4 is now free for anyone to develop on, Epic Games has announced.

So how's Epic going to make money on this, you ask? Simple: revenue off projects created with it. Here's how it works:

When devs ship a product developed in Unreal Engine 4, they'll pay five per cent of the revenue they make after the first $3000 per quarter to Epic. So if a dev makes a game, but it only grosses $2900 in a quarter, that dev won't have to pay Epic a penny. If the game makes $13K, they'd owe five per cent of the $10K after the first $3K (so $500 in this instance).

"It's a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed," said Epic founder Tim Sweeney on the company blog.

"The state of Unreal is strong, and we've realised that as we take away barriers, more people are able to fulfill their creative visions and shape the future of the medium we love," Sweeney added. "That's why we're taking away the last barrier to entry, and going free."

Last year Epic surprised everyone by making Unreal Engine 4 on $19 a month. That was seen as incredibly generous at the time. Prior to that developers had to pay very expensive licensing fees to use this sort of tech.

Cover image for YouTube videoUE4 is Free: A Message from Tim Sweeney | News | Unreal Engine