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.

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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 Nov 5 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Highmist Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 replied:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wiweeyum Nov 6 2009 replied:

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

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

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
Muffinssi Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
lethal_vortex Nov 5 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
OldBoy Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 says:

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

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


+1 vote     reply to comment
Ekonk Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 says:

Holy crap.

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

Wow.. just wow..

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

ARRRRG! (I think Unreal is winning)

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

Good choice :D.

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



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

Epic ftw.

+2 votes     reply to comment
razorb Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
borralho Nov 5 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
NightSage Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Neurological Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
DOLBYdigital Nov 5 2009 says:

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 Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 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! Nov 5 2009 says:

Now my keyboard's all sticky.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TKAzA Staff
TKAzA Nov 5 2009 says:

epic your unreal!

+1 vote   reply to comment
DELTΔ Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 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 Nov 5 2009 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
DELTΔ Nov 5 2009 says:

just finished down load 10 seconds ago

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gurra300 Nov 6 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
RogerRamjet Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 says:

OMG this is Awesome!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Squeebo Nov 6 2009 says:

Oh my god!

+1 vote     reply to comment
angry_bot Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kasplatt Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
razorb Nov 6 2009 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_ Nov 6 2009 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 Nov 6 2009 replied:

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

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

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Grobi Nov 6 2009 says:

This is such good news we need to celebrate somehow!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Soulseker Nov 6 2009 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_ Nov 6 2009 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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