Epic Games is announcing the release of its new Unreal Engine 4 engine today and in the process introducing a new pricing scheme and support for OS X out of the gate. The engine that powers many of our favorite games across platforms will now be available to developers as a subscription that will see devs pay $19 a month plus a 5 percent royalty on gross product revenue (that’s before Apple takes its 30% cut for the App Store, for example.) That will give devs access to the all Unreal Engine 4 features and tools, full C++ source code available on GitHub, as well as the usual documentation and upcoming updates.
This first release of Unreal Engine 4 is just the beginning. In the C++ code, you can see many new initiatives underway, for example to support Oculus VR, Linux, Valve’s Steamworks and Steam Box efforts, and deployment of games to web browsers via HTML5. It’s all right there, in plain view, on day one of many years of exciting and open development ahead!
Epic hopes that the new model will make it easier for anyone, especially the many smaller mobile game developers that might not yet be using the platform, to ship a product using Unreal Engine. That being said, Epic will negotiate custom terms for some developers, for example, “reducing or eliminating the royalty in exchange for an upfront license fee.” Epic used to charge a $99 license fee plus 25% of revenue after the first $50,000 any particular game brought in.
Epic warns that Mac OS X support in UE 4 still “hasn’t undergone serious developer testing yet” and that iOS deployment is only available on Mac so far.
You can get more info and sign up for UE4 here.