This year’s Game Developers Conference 2014 has been an interesting one so far, what with Sony’s new VR project and triple-A developers starting up new indie-sized companies. You can now add this piece in the history books: the two biggest game engine creators are butting heads with their new subscription plan for game developers.
Earlier today (via Games Industry International), Epic Games showed off its new Unreal game engine, called the Unreal Engine 4. Following that, the company is changing its traditional one-time fee business model to a subscription-based model. Game developers willing to use the engine will have access to everything for a monthly fee of US$19 and a five per cent gross revenue from the games they make using the engine.
And when it says everything, it means the Unreal Engine toolset and C++ source code, along with the option to modify and share codes with other subscribers. The programme will support PC, Mac, iOS and Android projects; more platforms will be available in the future. Any small-time developer interested in this can check it out here.
In the other corner of the game engine boxing ring, game company Crytek later announced its “engine-as-a-service” programme for its CryEngine tool. The programme will cost developers a monthly fee of US$9.90 that comes royalty-free, meaning that developers don’t need to fork out extra cash to Crytek.
It also supports all major platforms, which includes consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yes, budding developers can now make a game that looks as spiffy as Ryse: Son of Rome thanks to this programme.
We believe that this change from the standard one-time model is to compete against other engines like Unity who happen to be tapping into the indie developer space. Still, it gives budding developers more options to make their ideas become a beautifully-high-level-rendered reality.