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Epic details Unreal Engine costs for non-game makers

Epic Games has announced its pricing for the use of Unreal Engine by non-game creators, who will now typically pay $1850 a head each year to use the powerful development software.

The upcoming change, first telegraphed last year, will kick in with the launch of Unreal Engine 5.4 next month – details of which we’re expecting to hear in the coming days from Epic during its annual State of Unreal livestream.

As previously promised, there’s no change for game developers, who pay a flat five percent royalty to use Unreal Engine if their project ends up earning over $1m.

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Unreal Engine is used extensively in the film and TV industry, for developing computer-generated imagery in post-production and for mocking up how effects look in real-time on live sets.

Again, any company with less than $1m revenue will be exempt from the changes. Fees will also be waived for educational projects, including use by students, and other creations made by “hobbyists”.

These fees will also only apply if and when studios upgrade to the incoming UE5.4 update. Any project made using earlier versions currently available will be exempt.

“Our goal is to keep our tools free for as many people as possible, especially folks who are just starting out,” Epic Games said.

“These changes are designed to make long-term Unreal Engine development sustainable, so that we can continue to provide the very best, most advanced creator tools to all industries – big companies, small studios, individuals, and everyone in between.”

This announcement comes after Unity’s universally unpopular decision to implement runtime fees for its own engine, which would have charged game developers every time a title was installed – something that was swiftly and resolutely decried by game makers big and small alike.

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