Thinking about getting into game design? Thinking about diving knee-deep into the creative territory of interactive digital entertainment? Well, things just got a heck of a lot easier thanks to Epic Games revealing that you can now get in good... real good with the Unreal Engine 4 for a flat, monthly subscription fee.
The news comes hot and heavy out of 2014's Game Developer's Conference, where Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, dropped a news bomb, saying...
“This is our complete engine, with everything Epic provides to leading game developers, priced accessibly for teams of all sizes, budgets and aspirations,”
Now I know that some of you are thinking, “Bullcrap, that's only a few bucks more than what I pay to play WoW each and every month.” Take into consideration that this isn't World of Warcraft, but with a bit of time and dedication you could build your very own World of Warcraft.
Remember folks, this is a full-fledged, fully integrated, tool-rich game engine. The Unreal Engine 4 offers creative designers the opportunity to bring to life whatever it is their imagination desires, utilizing C++ source, complete and full access to the Unreal Engine Wiki and AnswerHub Q&A, as well as all the latest in material manipulation, shader advancements, particle displacement and physical lighting properties that the Unreal Engine 4 has to offer.
In other words, you have at your fingertips the possibility to make a full game based on something like The Infiltrator and it'll only cost you $19 a month.
By and far I would have to say that this is an absolute steal for anyone who is serious about making a game on a shoestring budget. It sure beats high-end upfront costs usually associated with licensing the latest and greatest engine technology.
The only thing that Epic is requiring for those of you who will take the serious opportunity to create something you plan to sell on the marketplace, is 5% off the gross revenue. Heck, that's not too bad... not too bad at all.
Gabe Newell, known to the internet community as GabeN, chimed in with a quick quote, saying...
“This is smart. It's an enlightened way for developers to create great games and easily bring them to Steam,”
Oh yeah... bring 'em to Steam and get lifted 30% off the gross revenue... I mean, I'm not hating on Steam or anything, but I'm just saying: you lose 35% of your gross revenue using the Unreal Engine 4 and having your game on Steam. It's a risk you have to wager on your conscience.
Anyway, this is a great thing for the mid-tier and smaller game development houses out there. Now personally, I would think that this benefits the mid-tier studios a heck of a lot more than the smaller or larger houses, as a small studio on a grilled-cheese and rain-water diet will probably want to stick with the free version of the Unreal Engine known as the UDK, or maybe the newb-version of Unity. There's no reason to switch from the aforementioned toward Unreal Engine 4, as you're only really getting some newer visual tools to play around with.
Mid-tier studios definitely benefit the most, because the Unreal Engine 4 offers all the necessary upgrades to create gorgeous, new generation games without completely breaking the budget on resources and middleware toolsets. You can have a mid-budget game with AAA level graphics and effects. This new deal is an absolute win-win at the $19 monthly subscription price-point.
You can learn more about the Unreal Engine 4 and the new monthly deal by paying a visit to the official Unreal Engine website.