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Unreal Engine Pricing [Updated Oct 2023] A Complete Guide to the Cost of UE 5

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Unreal Engine is a popular choice among game developers and filmmakers. Its advanced features and versatility make it a powerful tool for creating stunning visual effects and immersive experiences.

But how much does it cost to use Unreal Engine? And what about the recent pricing updates? In this article, we’ll explore the different pricing options available for Unreal Engine and the factors you need to consider when choosing the best option for your project.

Use Cases of Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is most commonly known as a video game development tool.

However, it is also used in a variety of other industries such as film & television, architecture, and automotive simulation. Luckily, for most of these industries, the use of Unreal Engine is completely free.

How Much Does Unreal Engine 5 Cost?

Unreal Engine 5, the latest version of the engine, starts out as free for everyone and has several pricing options thereafter:

100% Free to Download and Use

Unreal Engine is free to download and use. This includes all of its tools, features, and complete C++ source code. This makes it a great option for students, hobbyists, and indie developers who are just getting started.

This applies to filmmakers, VFX artists, virtual production environments, and architects; they can download and use the application without spending a penny.

Price changes coming in 2024

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney recently announced that Unreal Engine will begin charging for non-game development usage. The actual price is unknown at this point, Sweeney claims it will be a reasonable price point similar to Photoshop (at $5 per month) or Maya (at $100 per month). Whether it is closer to $5 or $100 per month is yet to be seen.

Still free for educational and low budget use

In response to some of the backlash over this pricing change Sweeney chimed in on Twitter/X stating that the pricing wont affect those learning and teaching UE as well as aspiring filmmakers

There will be minimum revenue thresholds for commercial projects, and student/educator use will remain free.

It’s also worth noting that the above mentioned pricing changes have no effect on the gaming industry and game development. For games the pricing will remain the same, see below for more details on that pricing structure.

Royalty Fees on Published Games

When publishing a game or application developed with Unreal Engine, Epic Games takes a 5% royalty fee from gross revenue after the product’s lifetime gross exceeds $1 million (USD). This fee is due each quarter as long as the game or application remains for sale or continues to generate more than $10,000 (USD) in a quarter.

Custom Licenses

Large developers can negotiate a custom license agreement for Unreal Engine. Depending on the scope and size of their project, they may be able to negotiate a lower royalty fee or waive it altogether. These custom licenses are only available to developers who can demonstrate significant revenue potential from their projects.

Enterprise Program

The Enterprise Program is for non-games professionals seeking premium-level support, private training, and/or custom licensing terms. This option starts at $1,500 USD per seat per year.

Plugins, Assets, and Other Costs

While the Unreal Engine software itself is free, you might need to plan for additional costs for things like plugins and assets from the Unreal Marketplace and third-party marketplaces. These costs can vary widely depending on the needs of your project.

Quixel Megascans

Quixel Megascans is both a plugin and a collection of assets that are now owned by Epic Games and offered for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. The Quixel Bridge plugin provides access to a huge library of scanned textures and 3D objects. It is worth noting that the Quixel Megascans library is only free when used inside of Unreal Engine. The included textures and 3D objects cannot be used in other applications without an appropriate license.

Conclusion

Unreal Engine offers a flexible and affordable pricing model that caters to a wide range of users, from hobbyists and indie developers to large studios and businesses. For filmmakers in particular, the price is generally nothing at all. Regardless Unreal Engine is completely free to download and play around with, so there’s no reason not to give it a try!

FAQs

What is included in the free version of Unreal Engine?

The free version of Unreal Engine includes access to all core engine features and tools, as well as community support forums and basic documentation. However, it requires developers to pay a 5% royalty fee for any gross revenue earned over $1 million per year.

Are there any additional costs associated with using Unreal Engine?

In addition to monthly fees or royalties for paid licensing options, developers may need Does Epic Games offer discounts or special pricing for educational institutions or non-profit organizations interested in using Unreal Engine?to invest in additional hardware or software products if they do not already have compatible systems that meet the requirements for running and developing with Unreal Engine.

Does Epic Games offer discounts or special pricing for educational institutions or non-profit organizations interested in using Unreal Engine?

Yes, educational institutions can apply for a free educational license that allows unlimited development seats and reduced royalties on published projects while non-profit organizations can qualify for discounted rates on some commercial licenses through Epic MegaGrants program which provides funding opportunities while supporting creators developing projects that utilize their technology platforms such as UE4 & Twinmotion among others.

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