Yesterday was a big day for Epic Games.
They unveiled Unreal Engine 5, a truly powerful engine that will be the foundation for the next-gen games for years to come.
On top of that new engine, they revealed Unreal Engine games (their developers) no longer owe royalties on their first $1M in revenue, which is a generous move and it will definitely help smaller indie developers to become more profitable.
Before this change, 5% royalties were due on commercial Unreal Engine games once they made $3,000 in a quarter. This will apply retroactively for all games published after 1st January 2020.
Of course, if developers publish their games on Epic Games Store, they don't owe anything for the use of Unreal Engine, just 12% cut for the store, as it was before.
Unreal Engine 5 shows incredible fidelity of detail (Picture: Epic Games)
Epic Games multiplayer systems are completely free for everyone to use
Back in 2018 Epic announced that they will work towards making everything they develop for Fortnite to be available for other developers to use in their games, for free. And now that day has come.
If you are a developer interested in making multiplayer games, you will be pleased to hear that you can use everything Epic has ever made for Fortnite complete free. You can download Epic's Online Services SDK here.
Unreal Engine 5 is set to come next year (Picture: Epic Games)
The Game Services offer some really essential components for any good online multiplayer game: matchmaking, lobby, leaderboard, achievements, etc.
There are also stat tracking systems, peer-to-peer network connectivity, player ticketing and game analytics.
These are all not just important, but also of the highest quality and tested over time, given that they are created for the most popular video game in the world for several years now - Fortnite.
This will make things tremendously easier for small developers and will remove a ton of work and effort from their back.
Game Services will offer everything already implemented in Fortnite (Picture: Epic Games)
Epic is also offering Epic Account Services, which are separated from the stuff we listed above. This can allow players to use their existing Epic account to login into the developer's game or find friends via Epic launcher.
In the FAQ section, Epic insist that there's no catch and that they are doing all of this "because we can". But, of course, this ultimately means that more developers are entering their system and potentially bringing more users to their platforms. In short - they are playing a long term game.