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One of the most advanced game engines in the industry is now free, though you will still need to pay a royalty for its use after you ship your game.

This morning, Epic Games announced that its Unreal Engine 4 development toolset is now “available to everyone for free.” This is a significant move in game-developer circles as UE4 fights for an increased share with other multiplatform engines such as Unity. Epic’s engine works on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, SteamOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and HTML 5.

But while its free, the Unreal Engine blog notes that developers still owe a royalty on any shipped product.


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“When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5 percent royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed,” the blog post from Epic founder Tim Sweeney.

At the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Epic Games made its biggest move to transform Unreal from a blockbuster console platform to a universal gaming platform by lowering its costs dramatically, charging just $19 a month for it.

And now it’s an even more attractive option for developers.

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