Unreal Engine announced yesterday/today (I heard about it yesterday, but the blog post I read yesterday has today's date...) a new version of the engine, as well as a new pricing model.
So now, you too can be licensed to use Unreal in your game project for only $20 per month, plus 5% of any sales:
Unreal Engine 4 launches today. What we’re releasing is both simple and radical: everything.
Epic’s goal is to put the engine within reach of everyone interested in building games and 3D content, from indies to large triple-A development teams, and Minecraft creators as well. For $19/month you can have access to everything, including the Unreal Editor in ready-to-run form, and the engine’s complete C++ source code hosted on GitHub for collaborative development.
This is the complete technology we at Epic use when building our own games, forged by years of experience shipping games like Gears of War for Xbox and Infinity Blade for iOS, and now reinvented for a new generation. Having the full C++ source provides the ultimate flexibility and puts developers in control of their schedules and destinies: Whatever you require to build and ship your game, you can find it in UE4, source it in the GitHub community, or build it yourself – and then share it with others.
Personally I disagree with the idea of a subscription model. It's better to own your tools than to rent them. If you come up on hard financial times and can't pay rent on your tools, then you can't work to earn more money to pay for your tools. But that's just my opinion.
In either case, I'll stick with Unity
, which you can use for free and you don't have to pay any royalties. Interestingly, Unity also started offering a subscription model to the Pro version of their engine well over a year ago, IIRC. Curious to see Epic copying them.