Unreal Engine 4 is Now Free
Have you ever wanted to make games? If you weren't interested in shelling out money for a license, your options were Unity, building your own engine, or a very limited version of GameMaker, with the extremely powerful Unreal Engine 4 locked behind a monthly subscription fee. Granted, 19 USD a month isn't entirely bank-breaking if you're a serious game-maker, but it's at least a barrier to entry. Following the addition of the fee, UE4 was made open source, and an entire rash of content followed.
It's been about a year since then, and now, Epic has seen fit to release the entire engine for free, for everyone. This is the same engine that Epic uses to make their own games, so it will be interesting to see just what might come out of this arrangement. If, by chance, you happen to make a game that does money, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first 3,000 USD per product, per quarter. If you don't make enough to meet that criteria, then obviously you get to keep everything.
Current subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund on the latest month's subscription, and if you have subbed at any time in the past, you will receive a 30 USD credit to the Unreal Marketplace, where you can buy environments, and otherwise premade content ready for use in the Unreal Engine. But why the switch to free now though? Though there's no clear answer in the blog post, it might possibly be because of a desire to see games stand out with a quality shine, or perhaps Epic is looking to further their own name in the business. Regardless, with this move, it will be interesting to see where CryTek takes their CryEngine in response.