Epic will begin charging non-game developers to use Unreal Engine

by Danny Craig  · 
Epic will begin charging non-game developers to use Unreal Engine
Epic Games

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has announced that Epic Games will begin charging companies for using Unreal Engine in non-game development projects.

The details:

  • Sweeney is seen in a new video posted by @ImmatureGamerX speaking about upcoming pricing changes for Unreal Engine at Unreal Fest 2023. If the engine is used for purposes other than game development, companies will have to pay for it on a per-employee basis beginning next year. “We have an engine that’s completely free for anybody to use, but if you’re never shipping a product that’s royalty-bearing then you never pay any money at all,” Sweeney said. “And this doesn’t affect game developers, but one of the things we’re going to change next year is for industries other than game development, such as the automobile industry and so on, we’re going to move to a seat-based enterprise software licensing model for Unreal Engine.”
  • Unreal Engine is currently free to use, with Epic charging a 5% royalty fee once a game's revenue exceeds $1 million. The main issue with the current pricing model is that since Unreal Engine is used for things other than game development, such as cinematic work and manufacturing, the company cannot claim royalties. Game developers will continue to use the current model.
  • Sweeney added that the terms of the new pricing have not yet been finalized, but that the developer wanted to get it out in "front of everybody for transparency," and that it would not be "unusually expensive or unusually inexpensive.”
  • After Unreal competitor Unity announced its new fee last month, game developers are likely to breathe a sigh of relief with Epic's new pricing changes. The "Unity Runtime Fee" will take effect next year, requiring developers to pay a fee for each install based on the number of copies sold.

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