Unreal Engine 3 is a complete game development framework for next-generation consoles and DirectX9-equipped PCs, providing the vast array of core technologies, content creation tools, and support infrastructure required by top game developers.

Report article RSS Feed Unreal Engine 3 Free to Indies

The largest game engine in existence with hundreds of shipped commercial titles has just been released free for indie use.

Posted by INtense! on Nov 5th, 2009

Only a week after Unity announced the free use of their engine for indie and mod teams, Epic Games has unveiled UDK UNREAL DEVELOPMENT KIT (clever name that) for use by indie and mod teams. While the choice of tools and engines available to mod and indie developers increases by the day, traditionally engines the magnitude and relevance of UE have been out of the reach of smaller teams due to licensing costs edging close to a million.


However while it may be free to develop and release a non-commercial game, should you wish to profit from your hard work the current UDK license states that 25% of all revenue earnt beyond $5,000 will be paid to Epic as your licensing cost. I consider this a small price to pay with no risk for developers who now have access to proven technology.


What will the developers do with this? Only time will tell, I for one see the availability of unrestrictive powerful tools like this as PROOF of the POWER that PC gaming still has. While traditional PC developers (i.e. Infinity Ward and others) may be shunning the PC crowd with "consolized" versions of their game and trying to convince us that the reason for these decisions are to provide a better experience, we know better, and we deserve better. No other platform provides the power and creativity possibilities that the PC does, no other platform makes you jump through hoops to release via digital distribution. Indie developers... I for one eagerly await the games you make because of decisions like this, as I know you only making games you want to make and play.


Post comment Comments  (50 - 100 of 155)
RetroXor
RetroXor Nov 5 2009, 3:24pm says:

Quite epic move indeed. Something tells me this is gonna create lots of interesting stuff.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Highmist
Highmist Nov 5 2009, 3:24pm says:

I mere ****** myself.....finally its free for everione! Although now Moddb will be flooded with unfinished/not good UT3 mods....oh well

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheOneKnownAsMe
TheOneKnownAsMe Nov 5 2009, 3:34pm replied:

Yeah, and you can bet that it will be flooded with all kinds of UDK games...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wiweeyum
Wiweeyum Nov 6 2009, 11:06am replied:

It'll be nice to take the light off of Steam games for once.

+3 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson
pvt.Johnson Nov 5 2009, 3:29pm says:

Unreal Engine 3 became free to indies... and i jizzed in my pants.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Muffinssi
Muffinssi Nov 5 2009, 3:41pm says:

Never could thought that Epic Games would ever giveaway UE3 for free, thats freakin awesome! For me this is probably too hard to make anything cool and playable, so i can forget my dreams about "make game with Unreal Engine"...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Highmist
Highmist Nov 5 2009, 9:47pm replied:

it caught us all ****, it caught us all. but now we can expect some great things

+1 vote     reply to comment
lethal_vortex
lethal_vortex Nov 5 2009, 4:04pm says:

awesome we can exspect some quality indie games to come out:)

+1 vote     reply to comment
OldBoy
OldBoy Nov 5 2009, 4:21pm says:

This is great, thank you epic. truly epic... This is how game development should be.
NOT filled with people with greed of gain but with people that love making games!

+2 votes     reply to comment
PatrickSutter
PatrickSutter Nov 5 2009, 4:29pm says:

I never thought this day would happen! I am nearly catatonic right now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bird_of_Prey
Bird_of_Prey Nov 5 2009, 5:09pm says:

This really came out of nowhere. It's a little unreal, but quite epic none the less. Really looking forward to seeing what kind of amazing stuff this leads to.

+2 votes     reply to comment
cheesemoo0
cheesemoo0 Nov 5 2009, 5:15pm says:

This.is.amazing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ekonk
Ekonk Nov 5 2009, 5:25pm says:

Sorry for being an oaf, but does this mean I can just install this and play Unreal Tournament 3 mods?


(Please God, please)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Shadow-Marine
Shadow-Marine Nov 6 2009, 6:35am replied:

i think they may have to be compiled into an actually game system instead of running off the ut3 system
so from now on most of the unreal engine stuff will be an indie game but i don't know if anyone's gonna bother with previous mods
and if their is a mod that contains or uses any commercial resources (models sounds etc) then they must be removed before its released as an indie game
other wise the producers wont be happy

but yes as long as its full conversion

+1 vote     reply to comment
M@ty
M@ty Nov 6 2009, 6:52am replied:

No. UT3 mods are built using UT3 content. For UT3 mods you will need UT3.

If you would like to play the mods without getting UT3 you will have to nicely ask the developer to port it to the UDK. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pxl_Buzzard
Pxl_Buzzard Nov 5 2009, 5:28pm says:

Holy crap.

+4 votes     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP
formerlyknownasMrCP Nov 5 2009, 5:31pm says:

Wow.. just wow..

Now I'm conflicted... Unreal or Unity...

ARRRRG! (I think Unreal is winning)

+2 votes     reply to comment
infl1ct1on
infl1ct1on Nov 5 2009, 5:55pm replied:

Good choice :D.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sauerfreak
sauerfreak Nov 5 2009, 5:52pm says:

o.O

*hyperventilates*

Best news of the month for me. I totally did not see this coming........

Epic ftw.

+2 votes     reply to comment
razorb
razorb Nov 5 2009, 6:06pm says:

fugin **** on a stick as my friend would say :> i now have a new found love for epic.. i really respect what they have done here.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheOneKnownAsMe
TheOneKnownAsMe Nov 5 2009, 6:09pm says:

Yeah, i am definitely going with UDK for my current project...

+1 vote     reply to comment
borralho
borralho Nov 5 2009, 6:44pm says:

i still can't believe it........

+1 vote     reply to comment
NightSage
NightSage Nov 5 2009, 6:52pm says:

WHOA, WHAT!? That is HUGE news.

"However while it may be free to develop and release a non-commercial game, should you wish to profit from your hard work the current UDK license states that 25% of all revenue earnt beyond $5,000 will be paid to Epic as your licensing cost."

Very smart move on epics part, its free to use but cost you if your going to sell a title. So in a way its like they just licensed their technology to potentially millions of developers.

+1 vote     reply to comment
infl1ct1on
infl1ct1on Nov 5 2009, 7:03pm replied:

Exactly. Smart business move IMO because now they can make money off Indie developers and at the same time Indie developers may be able to create better games. Its a win win situation for a lot of people.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Anthony817
Anthony817 Nov 5 2009, 7:52pm says:

This is the best thing since sliced bread! I will show this to all my modder friends!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Neurological
Neurological Nov 5 2009, 7:52pm says:

Guys, I have a question about this incredible thing (am I dreaming?). What about Physx, Havok, SpeedTree, Bink etc... license?

Is that included into the commercial license, or you have to pay separatly. Because Bink alone is 7000$, and sounds weird if it is included.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Six_Ways
Six_Ways Nov 6 2009, 12:13pm replied:

According to Udk.com it's all in there. Pretty impressive.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DOLBYdigital
DOLBYdigital Nov 5 2009, 8:05pm says:

Wow!!!
Great news and a good pr move for Epic.
The fact that it didn't get leaked and just seems to have sprung up really helps the wow factor. This and Unity being free will hopefully encourage lots of risk taking and some cool mods/indie games to come out.

I remember someone mentioning how there are tons of great UT3 mods but no one plays them cause not many people bought UT3. Hopefully this will bring those and many more sweet mods into the spotlight for more people to enjoy.

+2 votes     reply to comment
RandomusIdiotus
RandomusIdiotus Nov 5 2009, 8:44pm says:

I might have expected to see UE1 or UE2 released for free as they are out of date to Epic, but UE3!?

Hm... maybe some of these UT3 mods could be stand-alone someday? Renegade X and/or Tactical Assault for free would be t3h uber l33t pwnx0rz!

+1 vote     reply to comment
SneakySoft
SneakySoft Nov 5 2009, 9:31pm says:

how is networking done, that's my biggest concern for all the multiplayer mods that are out there. That is probably why "the ball" is used as the demo for udk beta release.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Robots!
Robots! Nov 5 2009, 10:03pm says:

Now my keyboard's all sticky.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TKAzA Staff
TKAzA Nov 5 2009, 10:34pm says:

epic your unreal!

+1 vote   reply to comment
DELTΔ
DELTΔ Nov 5 2009, 10:49pm says:

wow i think i need to clean the white stains from my pants now D= but man this is soooooo cool =D

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheOneKnownAsMe
TheOneKnownAsMe Nov 5 2009, 11:16pm says:

The ****-related jokes are getting old... xD

I finished downloading it, playing around with it right now, and i must say, Epic Win.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Shadow-Marine
Shadow-Marine Nov 5 2009, 11:38pm says:

ZOMFG WTF MMMMONSTER KILL

+2 votes     reply to comment
DELTΔ
DELTΔ Nov 5 2009, 11:48pm says:

just finished down load 10 seconds ago

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gurra300
Gurra300 Nov 6 2009, 12:00am says:

unreal engine 3 is free...omg, now many indie game thatgets created will be awesome!

+1 vote     reply to comment
RogerRamjet
RogerRamjet Nov 6 2009, 12:18am says:

Superb news... a real shake up for the modding and gaming alike community... may the best game be released!!... lol

+1 vote     reply to comment
spiritwind51
spiritwind51 Nov 6 2009, 12:42am says:

OMG this is Awesome!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Squeebo
Squeebo Nov 6 2009, 12:49am says:

Oh my god!

+1 vote     reply to comment
angry_bot
angry_bot Nov 6 2009, 3:03am says:

Here's a question, though: will you be able to use PhysX as well or has that been stripped from the UDK?

+1 vote     reply to comment
L0K
L0K Nov 6 2009, 3:04am says:

This isnt real... It cant be. Can it?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kasplatt
Kasplatt Nov 6 2009, 3:51am says:

This isn't exactly "out of the blue" they did have a teaser on their site about 2 weeks ago I believe, had "It's unreal and it's coming soon" was only up for about a day or so though. Awesome news, can't wait till I get back home to play around with it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Shadow-Marine
Shadow-Marine Nov 6 2009, 6:30am says:

lol unity came out not that long ago and this has completely knocked it out

+1 vote     reply to comment
razorb
razorb Nov 6 2009, 9:30am replied:

not really.. i bet most artists wont and cant make full use of udk anyway.. plus 25% is mega rape :P unity is no where near that much

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_
Ark_ Nov 6 2009, 10:05am replied:

This still hasn't knocked unity really as Unity can make web based games witch is a growing market.

Now if you will excuse me I must get back to UE3. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Elementalist
Elementalist Nov 6 2009, 10:49am replied:

Unreal Engine + Instant Action license = Unity Knocked. Yeah.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Chrissstrahl
Chrissstrahl Nov 6 2009, 6:57am says:

Ppl often don't know what a good engine is really worth.
This is fantastic :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Grobi
Grobi Nov 6 2009, 8:10am says:

This is such good news we need to celebrate somehow!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Soulseker
Soulseker Nov 6 2009, 10:25am says:

Im not a big fan of UT3 Engine.
But maybe other developers now will do the same, got hope :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_
Ark_ Nov 6 2009, 10:49am replied:

Same here really im more into mapping for source, so im waiting to see what they do. But still i have even more respect for epic now and i will still be playing around with the udk.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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