Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Engines Plunge in Price

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 20, 2014

Remember what I said Monday about announcements coming this week about “ways to make / distribute games more cheaply and efficiently?”

Yeah. Well, two of the big game engines – Unreal and CryEngine – have dropped their licensing costs through the floor. Following suit with Unity’s subscription model, Unreal is now charging $19 / month + 5% royalties for full access and source code. CryEngine has likewise changed to a “subscription” model, for almost half that price ($9.90 / month) with no royalties for access to the commercial version of the engine. No word on source code for this one, however.

In the meantime, Unity hasn’t really changed its pricing (yet), but the latest feature demo shows that they are continuing to shoot for being a “AAA”- worthy engine:

We’re in a different world today. There’s more and more overlap, and in this case, the indies are benefiting. Yay!

Filed Under: Biz - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Bad Sector said,

    I don’t plan on using it, but i bought UE4 out of curiosity. It seems that they *really* took a hard look at Unity’s interface when they designed the new Unreal Editor. Generally the editor seems to be very streamlined (although some things, like making brushes, is still the same old PITA) and nice to use. Or at least play around with, i’m still not convinced i want to lock my projects with someone else’s code and terms of use.

    But having said that, at this point i don’t think there is a reason to go with Unity. UE4 is cheaper (so far – and you can stop and restart the subscription at any point, you just lose the updates in GitHub but you keep the code), more capable and above everything else: you get the source code so you’re not locked to whatever Epic decides to do next. The only real drawback is the whole 5% thing, but i dont think this is a big deal for small and mid sized developers (for big developers expecting tens or hundreds of millions in gross revenue it might be a bit more expensive than what they got previously :-P).

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I haven’t used any Unreal-related tools since Unreal 1, so I can’t really compare the two aside from word-of-mouth. CryEngine I looked at a couple of years ago, but not seriously.

    At this point, I’m just seeing more and more convergence. If you have enough resources to take advantage of Unreal, it’s probably the way to go. For someone like me – it’s a wash either way. I’m already committed to Unity – just ‘cuz Unreal or CryEngine is currently a better deal doesn’t make Unity any WORSE of a deal for me than it was last week. And really, it’s been fantastic to work with. But I won’t complain if they drop their prices a bit.

  • Bad Sector said,

    Well, i was mostly talking about new projects :-P. And there are certainly positives with Unity – like not having to give 5% to Epic :-P.

    TBH i don’t think you need to take advantage of whatever UE4 offers – after all, one of the examples is a flappy bird clone and at least half of them are mobile phone games.

    As far as usability goes, UE4 is better than early UE, but the core stuff seems to be the same despite the rewritten UI. F.e. same shortcuts, same way to work with entities, shame way to create brushes (sadly), etc.

    …i think i sound a bit as an UE4 evangelist, which isn’t the case especially since i don’t plan on using it myself :-P.

  • Aaron Lanterman said,

    Everyone seems to be comparing UE4 and Unity based solely on price and/or the number of bullet points on their feature list. They’re really quite different things. UE4 is comparable to CryEngine, but Unity is sort of its own thing. Compaing Unity to UE4 is like comparing Photoshop to Illustrator, or Excel to Mathematica. Yes, the first two crunch image data, and the second two crunch mathematical data, but they’re different tools for different purposes.