Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free, New Build Of Unreal Tournament Available

by Mike Futter on Mar 02, 2015 at 05:19 AM

Epic has announced that it has removed the subscription fee from Unreal Engine 4. Anyone can download the tools and start using them immediately, with no fees and no charge for future updates.

Developers won’t pay Epic anything until and unless shipped products earn $3,000 gross, with royalties assessed quarterly at five percent. Additionally, a new build of Unreal Tournament is available for download. 

Unreal Tournament has been in open development with community input and is available to download for free. When Epic announced the game in May 2014, it promised the title would free.

The company draws a distinction between “free” and “free-to-play,” as the latter term has come to imply some form of monetization. Epic has been streaming updates to the game, highlighting community contributions. The flak gun pictured above was spearheaded by a member of the Unreal Tournament community, and includes flourishes from other contributors.

The video below, an archived live stream from January 29, is an example of how Epic is moving forward alongside its talented fans. You’ll see a community member’s recreation of a Unreal Tournament 2004 level in Unreal Engine 4 (a more complex feat than it might sound).

The Lea map shown above is included in the new build. Additionally, the update includes new characters and cosmetic items, along with the Epic-created Outpost 23 map.

[Source: Epic Games]


Our Take
If you have 30 minutes, watch the video embedded above to get a sense for how Epic is approaching Unreal Tournament. The studio also recently announced a program to fund projects built in Unreal Engine 4, is wise to foster a community of fans and amateur developers. With companies like EA and Ubisoft keeping engine creation internal, Epic is doing necessary work to create evangelists for one of its most important properties.