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Epic Games released the game tools and source code today


Unreal Engine 4 tools and source code now available for a $19 monthly subscription.


At a GDC 2014 press briefing today, Epic founder Tim Sweeney announced that Unreal Engine 4 is now available for game development, but not just for big studios. Access to the binary development tools and the UE4 source code is now included in a $19/mo subscription plan. Developers will also pay Epic five percent of any revenue earned from UE4-developed games.


This pricing model is an update of the Unreal Engine 3 model, which made the Unreal Development Kit available free, but charged a $99 licencing fee to release a commercial game and a 25 percent royalty fee on any revenue earned after $50,000. Despite losing the $50,000 buffer, the new UE4 model's smaller royalty fee is much better in the long run. For instance, with the old model, a developer earning $100,000 would have paid the $99 licensing fee plus $12,500 in royalties. With the new model, that developer would pay $228 a year for the subscription plus $5000 in royalties—less than half the cost of UE3 development.





Unreal Engine 4 is now available to everyone, and priced so that we succeed only when you do. We've made our policies to be friendly and low risk. You can cancel your subscription at any time and keep using the engine, though without monthly updates.


However, this is the very first release, aimed at early adopters. It's powerful, but not very polished, and it requires a beefy desktop computer. Rough areas include:


Mac OS X support hasn't undergone serious developer testing yet

Android support is rough and hasn't undergone compatibility testing

iOS deployment currently requires a Mac

C++ programming documentation is sparse


If you're looking for a more polished product, please check back in 6 months. But if you're a pioneer, please join us on this journey!


In UE4, programming is in C++ using Microsoft Visual Studio (available free online) or Apple's Xcode. Designers can build code-free games using Blueprint visual scripting, but there's no C# or JavaScript.


When releasing a product using UE4, you're signing up to pay Epic 5% of gross product revenue from users, regardless of what company collects the revenue. That means: If your game makes $10 on the App Store, Apple may pay you $7, but you'd pay Epic $0.50 (5% of $10).

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I played around with the demos and editor. Boy it's a gpu hog right now. Was running hot the entire time @ 1920x1080 on my Geforce 675M. All the images below are rendered in real time (at


ue4editor_2014_03_23_18_47_19.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_19_51_40.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_19_59_29.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_20_00_46.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_20_00_55.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_20_03_58.png ue4editor_2014_03_23_20_04_33.png

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