Epic’s new Unreal Engine 4 and Crytek’s CryEngine will both move from expensive license agreements to monthly subscription models, according to announcements made at this year’s Game Developers Conference.
GDC doesn’t usually offer much in the way of game announcements, but announcements like those made by Epic Games and Crytek are a major part of the conference and can have wide reaching effects on upcoming games.
Unreal Engine 4 will be available to developers and hobbyists alike for just $19 a month. This is the full engine, full toolset – the whole thing. The team behind the newest version of Epic’s industry-dominating engine has put a lot of work into simplifying the tools to make them useful for new developers, according to GameInformer. The only caveat to this is that if you do use UE4 to make your game, Epic requires a five percent royalty on gross revenue.
Crytek’s CryEngine, by comparison, has a free version to use for non-commercial purposes. If you’re planning to sell your product or want the full suite of tools, though, they’re asking for just about half of Epic’s fee: $10. Crytek has one other big advantage, though – there are no royalty payments.
Both engines produce great looking games and offer huge incentives to get developers of all sizes and experience levels on their engines. Unreal gives developers an incredibly easy tool to start off with a low price and royalties that aren’t exactly bank-breaking. CryEngine lets developers in the door for free and then when they want to sell their product, the fee is lower and the royalty payments non-existent. Whichever option developers choose, though, we should see some interesting stuff come out of these subscriptions.