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The licensing terms for Epic's Unreal Development Kit (UDK) have changed such that under the new rules UDK licensees are not required to pay royalties on revenue earned from the use of UDK until that revenue exceeds US$50,000.

Posted by INtense! on Feb 25th, 2011

Great news for indie developers today, especially those developing UDK games. Epic has just updated the licencing terms so a royalty rate of 25% of sales is not payable until your game has earned more than US$50,000. This is a 10x jump from the previous amount of US$5,000 "We're really excited about folks making some amazing things with UDK and we realize that a lot of you are just started in the business so not having to pay royalties on your first $50,000 should help you get a financial footing toward building a quality game development business." said Epic VP and co-founder Mark Rein.

Here is an explanation from the licencing terms:

Quote:A team creates a game with UDK that they intend to sell. After six months of development, they release the game through digital distribution and they earn $60,000 in the first calendar quarter after release. Their use of UDK during development requires no fee. Upon release they would pay US $99 for a Royalty Bearing license. After earning $60,000, they would be required to pay Epic $2,500 ($0 on the first $50,000 in revenue, and $2,500 on the next $10,000 in revenue). On subsequent revenue, they are required to pay the 25% royalty.

Top work on lifting the bar once again Epic!

Post comment Comments
Tibberius Feb 25 2011 says:

Yet another reason to choose the UDK for your project. We did for the new Chivalry game and have never looked back.

+13 votes     reply to comment
AJ_Quick Feb 25 2011 says:

the win ^

+9 votes     reply to comment
shaftling Feb 25 2011 says:

That is pretty sweet. Would be indie paradise If steam did some friendly move like this.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Feb 25 2011 replied:

I agree that's quite a generous move on Epic's part but not sure I understand what you mean in regards to Steam doing something similar? Steam being a digital distribution application (obviously quite a bit more) and not a game development kit. Do you mean Valve's Source Engine?

+7 votes     reply to comment
Garyn Dakari Feb 25 2011 replied:

I think that's what he meant, yes.
Anyway, I'm going to start some serious UDK work as soon as I finish my JA mods.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Lucífer Feb 25 2011 replied:

The source engine is supposedly one of the easiest and mod-friendly engines. Sure, they wont let you profit from their engine but if you make something good enough they'll promote you and perhaps strike you a deal if its 'good enough'.

Its a friendly alternative to be honest.

+3 votes     reply to comment
thunderising Feb 25 2011 replied:

it's also archaic

with a UI of a dinosaur era

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sydan Feb 25 2011 replied:

I somewhat agree... it's horrible to use really... and the result is rather low quality...

+1 vote     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN) Feb 25 2011 replied:

Gabe stated recently though, that valve is going to improve the tools.
(Even they thought, that using the tools in their current state is a masochist´s wet day dream.)

+7 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 25 2011 says:

Source has licensed it's Engine out to quite a few people, not to mention Source is a cheap license I've heard, compared to something like the UE3 Engine(Full license),

But yeah, Epic is well, being Epic!

Valve already offers Steamworks free to developers, so they have done something similar.

+5 votes     reply to comment
scott_aw Feb 25 2011 says:

Damn, this is pretty amazing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Khameli Feb 25 2011 says:

And again epic owns unity

+2 votes     reply to comment
janpec Feb 25 2011 says:

Hm thats dangerously good. This means that you have guaranteed 50k revenue if afcourse you think that your game will sell that much. Thats really really good. I am glad that i am deep in production with Unity so it doesnt make sense for me to switch otherwise i would be already going back to UDK:D.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sydan Feb 25 2011 replied:

Same, Unity is at £50000 aswell I think...

+3 votes     reply to comment
lethal_vortex Feb 25 2011 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Sydan Feb 25 2011 says:

Wow. That's quite a generous give! Shame... I don't like using UDK....

+1 vote     reply to comment
Otreum Feb 25 2011 says:

Epic certainly live up to their name :)

Their support to the indie games development and general games development community are fantastic.
It'd be great to see support like this from other games development studios like Crytek for example.

+2 votes     reply to comment
janpec Feb 25 2011 says:

Sydan Unity is not at 50k. It is 1.5k.

And Otreum Crytek promised that they will release Cryengine 3 under indie licence too.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sunspear Feb 25 2011 replied:

Unity has no royalties at all. Only limitation is that you have to switch to the pro licence once you make 100K + a year.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Reactorcore Feb 25 2011 says:

UDK just keeps getting better by the minute.
If I ever come up with a concept for a game that will use 3D graphics, UDK will be my first choice to see how I can make it work. Thanks Epic!

+1 vote     reply to comment
cridia Feb 25 2011 says:

Nice, another reason why I started with UDK and will stay with UDK!

Keep it up Epic, it is these things that make me excited to be a developer in this day and age!

+1 vote     reply to comment
design3 Feb 25 2011 says:

Epic win!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Tharapita Feb 25 2011 says:

I went to the UDK in last years December and haven't looked back, and this is yet another reason to keep with UDK. Epic' is doing a great thing with this. While I don't know how reasonable the rates are or aren't, to me, these royalties and that kind of income looks very reasonable.

<3 UDK

+1 vote     reply to comment
asvigny Feb 25 2011 says:

Awesome, and it's sounds like Epic will still get quite a bit out of it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GamerWolfOps Feb 25 2011 says:

UDK Is great for an RTS base building game, my team is using it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SPTX Feb 26 2011 says:

hourray for Mark Rein.

+1 vote     reply to comment
HellsMarshall Feb 26 2011 says:

Hmm ...
Unreal 1 & Missionpacks (awsome work for the time)
ut2 & 3 good rendering etc.
always the best looking water !
but a bit to overdosed on colors ...

Over the Years some Up´s and Down´s ;)
but the Udk is a Bright Burning Star for all Moders (...) !

Great Work !!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Anruca Feb 26 2011 says:

Now thats one hell of a deal!

+1 vote     reply to comment
magillaGuerilla Mar 1 2011 says:

Awesome - if we could only find some UDK savvy programmers in Melbourne.

+1 vote     reply to comment
De.Facto Apr 6 2011 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
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